Meralco seeks to expand footprint in Africa
Manila Electric Co. is looking at other countries in Africa for business expansion as its power distribution concession in Ghana moves forward.
On July 24, the Parliament of Ghana gave the go-ahead for the consortium led by Meralco to take over the management and operations of their country’s biggest power distributor, state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
“Our partners in the Ghana concession might invite us to do business in (their home countries),” Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes said in an interview.
Expanding Meralco’s footprint in Africa “will make the Philippines more known in that continent,” Reyes said, adding that it was looking at “at least one other country” in addition to Ghana.
Meralco has five partners in the Ghana concession, with Aenergia SA of Angola being the only other non-Ghanaian company in the group.
According to Ghana’s Ministry of Energy, the final ownership structure shows Meralco holds 30 percent while Aenergia controls 19 percent of the concession-holding entity.
The remaining 51 percent is shared by Ghanaian firms TG Energy Solutions (18 percent), Santa Baron Ventures Ghana (13 percent), GTS Engineering Ghana Ltd. (10 percent) and TBK Ghana Ltd. (10 percent).
Also, the ministry said Meralco and its partners would invest in ECG $125.94 million in the first year; $110 million, second year; $144.01 million, third year, $91.77 million, fourth year, and $109.23 million, fifth year.
The consortium is required to invest in ECG a total of $581 million in the first five years of the 20-year concession period, which is calendared to start in 2019.
In the meantime, Meralco said it had declared cash dividend of P5.11 per share after seeing a 7.2-percent year-on-year growth in its consolidated core net income in the first semester.
In a statement, it said the dividends covered shareholders of record as of Aug. 29, 2018 and would be payable on Sept. 24.
This, Meralco said, represented the interim regular cash dividend for the period, accounting for 55 percent of its core earnings for the first six months of the year.
Meralco chief finance officer Betty Siy-Yap said the company’s unaudited consolidated core net income for the period hit P10.85 billion, up from P10.12 billion in the same period last year.
Consolidated revenue rose by 7 percent to P105.5 billion on a 7-percent jump in the volume of energy sold.