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MPIC says profit hits P4.4B, on track to meet P14-B target

LISTED conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) announced on Wednesday that its consolidated core net income for the third quarter of the year reached P4.4 billion, an increase of 26% from the same period the previous year.

MPIC officials said the 94% core net income improvement reported by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. for the period, mainly due to higher traffic on all roads and tariff increases, as well as the consolidation of Landco Pacific Corp. this year, contributed to the growth in earnings for the third quarter. The company has yet to release its full financial performance report for the third quarter.

For the January-to-September period, the company’s core income rose 25% to P11.8 billion from P9.5 billion in the same period a year ago, MPIC Chief Finance, Risk and Sustainability Officer June Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla said during a briefing.

“Improved financial and operating results of the constituent companies delivered a 17% increase in contribution from operations, mainly driven by a strong recovery in toll road traffic, growth in power consumption, and increase in billed water volumes,” she noted.

Total revenues of the company for the nine-month period increased 29% to P383.1 billion from P297.9 billion previously, while its core earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization rose 13% to P70.1 billion from P62.1 billion in the same period a year ago.

Ms. Cabal-Revilla said power accounted for P8.9 billion or 58% of the net operating income, toll roads contributed P4.1 billion or 26%, water contributed P2.2 billion or 15%, and the other businesses — mainly real estate, hospitals, fuel storage, and light rail — contributed P153 million.

“Average interest rates on borrowings have been significantly reduced and resulted in a 7% decline in net interest costs in the first nine months of 2022,” she noted.

“This was a result of the company’s strategic rerating and refinancing of expensive debt facilities amidst a rising interest rate environment. Prudent management of cash flows has also allowed MPIC to maintain a strong balance sheet despite the lingering impact of the pandemic, the continuing geopolitical crisis, and its consequential impact on inflation and foreign currency,” she added.

MPIC Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said the earnings growth “reflects significant volume increases for all our core businesses together with our intense focus on operational efficiencies.”

He also said that MPIC is on track to sustaining its double-digit growth for the rest of the year and achieving its core net income target of approximately P14 billion.

“Looking ahead, we will be focusing on unlocking further opportunities in agriculture in the hopes of helping to address our country’s food security aspirations. We continue to be guided by our vision of achieving the ideal balance between maximizing economic opportunities and enabling solutions to urgent societal challenges,” Mr. Pangilinan said.

MPIC shares closed 0.56% lower at P3.55 apiece on Wednesday.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining and PLDT.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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