Meralco net profit hits P16.3BBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manila Electric Co. posted a 9-percent increase in its consolidated core net income to P16.3 billion last year from P14.9 billion in 2011 on the back of higher electricity sales.
In a briefing Monday, Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes reported that a 7-percent jump in the utility’s sales in terms of volume reflected the broad-based growth of the economy, fueled by the services, real estate and manufacturing sectors.
This was further supported by the bigger remittances sent home by some 10 million overseas Filipinos that fueled domestic consumption and, consequently, the growth in residential and commercial energy sales volume.
“This is another record year for Meralco in terms of sales, volume, operating performance and financial results,” Reyes said.
Meralco chief finance officer Betty Siy Yap added that the power firm’s consolidated net income rose 29 percent to P17 billion while consolidated revenues increased by 11 percent to P283 billion. Free cash as of end-2012 stood at P25.3 billion, according to Yap, while the company’s consolidated debt balance amounted to P24.6 billion.
Yap said Meralco planned to refinance roughly P14 billion to P15 billion of its debts within the second or third quarter of the year. The distribution firm is in discussions with local banks for refinancing deals with either a 5-, 7- or 10-year term.
“Our operating performance translated to record earnings and represented four consecutive years of increasing amount of dividends since 2009. While we face increasingly stringent regulatory policies, Meralco stayed focus on its effort to offer solutions to our growing customer base of more than five million,” noted Meralco chair Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Pangilinan declined to disclose a profit guidance for the year as they have yet to assess the impact of the upcoming elections on electricity sales.
“We were off to a good start with respect to the first two months of 2013, with energy sales up 3.9 percent in January and for February, a 2.8-percent increase in energy sales. We will wait for the first quarter results to better assess the full impact of the effect of elections on the economy and on the sales and profitability of Meralco in the first quarter,” Pangilinan explained.
“As we look into the remaining 10 months of this year, we continue to focus on delivering on our growth and profitability opportunities and expect core net income for 2013 to exceed 2012,” Pangilinan further said.