Metro Pacific 6-mo profit up 7% to P3.7B

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Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the infrastructure arm of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., said net income in the first six months of the year hit P3.7 billion, up 7 percent from year-ago level.

The company—which is involved in water services, power distribution, toll roads and hospital operations—said total revenue in the first half of the year hit P15.29 billion, up 12.3 percent.

It said core earnings rose by 14 percent to P3.9 billion.

Metro Pacific chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said full-year core profit would likely hit P7 billion. He, however, cautioned investors over “uncertainties concerning Maynilad Water Services’ rate re-basing.”

Metro Pacific’s core profit last year hit P6.5 billion, meaning the company was expecting growth of about 7.7 percent.

Metro Pacific president Jose Ma. Lim told reporters in a briefing that Maynilad was in negotiations with regulator Metropolitan Waterworks  and Sewerage System over the rate re-basing.

Reports noted that Maynilad was seeking a rate hike of P8.58 per cubic meter. But Lim yesterday said MWSS  had “indicated rates that were lower than the application we made.”

“Our position is we should follow the formula stipulated in the concession agreement,” Lim said. Apart from water, Metro Pacific was also cautious over the pending rate increases for its toll road business.

Maynilad is a major contributor to Metro Pacific’s earnings. In the first half of the year, Maynilad accounted for 44 percent of net operating income. Manila Electric Co. accounted for 30 percent, while Metro Pacific Tollways contributed  20 percent.

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