MPIC on track to achieve P12-B income goal
Infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) expects to hit its core income guidance of P12 billion this year even as the reimposition of tight lockdown protocols has curbed the recovery of its water, tollroad and railway businesses.
With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program boosting the confidence of medical practitioners and patients who avoided hospitals last year, MPIC’s hospital business is seen to return to prepandemic volume levels this year, or a growth of 14-15 percent from last year.
Coming from a much lower base in 2020, the electricity utility business under Manila Electric Co. also expects to grow sales volume by 5 percent over last year’s level.
“There is still much work that needs to be done to help our country recover so we will continue to proactively partner with the government and offer our hand wherever needed. From the handling and storage of vaccines to increasing COVID-19 bed capacity in our hospitals and the conversion of our facilities into quarantine centers, we are now studying how we can be instrumental in the development of our own vaccines and help better equip our nation for a crisis such as this,” said MPIC chair Manuel V. Pangilinan. MPIC’s core profit in the first three months declined by 26 percent year-on-year to P2.5 billion as the prolonged pandemic reduced toll road traffic, ridership at light rail services as well as commercial and industrial demand for water and power.
Including one-off gains booked from the sale of Global Business Power and shares in Thai tollroad Don Muang, MPIC’s net income attributable to owners of the parent company surged by 272 percent year-on-year to P7 billion in the first quarter.
The economy’s gradual comeback “serves as the foundation of our core income guidance of at least P12 billion for full year 2021,” Pangilinan said.
The target marks a 17.6-percent rebound from last year but still below prepandemic output.
“[While] we remain committed to our ongoing priority projects, we have also recalibrated our capital expenditure plans for the year and have decided to defer or discontinue previously announced discretionary investments. This will allow us to focus more on investments that will enable economic growth from infrastructure development without putting additional strain on our future cash flows,” said MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim.
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