Meralco income up 8% as prepandemic demand levels return
The Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) consolidated core net income in the first semester jumped 8 percent to P11.6 billion from P10.4 billion in the same period last year as a surge in demand from industrial customers brought segment sales to prepandemic levels.
Meralco chief finance officer Betty Siy-Yap said at a press briefing the company’s latest performance result was also partly due to higher volume and contribution from subsidiary San Buenaventura Power Ltd., which operates a coal-fired power plant in Quezon province.
In the first six months of this year, consolidated revenues also increased by 8 percent to P149.1 billion from P138.3 billion last year.
Power distribution, which accounted for a fifth of the company’s electricity revenues, grew by 7 percent to P31.5 billion.
Siy-Yap said this was consistent with a 7-percent growth in sales volume, which, at 22.7 million kilowatt-hours during the period, neared the prepandemic level of 22.8 million kWh. In 2020, Meralco sold 21.1 million kWh, a 7-percent drop year-on-year.The franchise areas of Meralco, the biggest power distributor in the country, cover Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal as well as parts of Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon province.
Volumes increased across the three customer classes, with demand from the industrial segment surging 22 percent and returning to 2019 levels.
Sales to residential customers increased by 3 percent and “followed [the] 2019 seasonal trend.” The commercial segment also grew but was flat at 0.2 percent and still below prepandemic levels.
Meralco’s expenses grew by only 1 percent year-on-year to P132.5 billion from P131.3 billion.
Meralco chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said the arrival and dispensation of vaccines should pave the way for a gradual opening of the economy.
He said the company, especially its workforce, continued to soldier on after going through 18 months of various quarantine restrictions, health concerns especially with new coronavirus variants and occasional challenges on the generation and supply sides.
“Despite the challenges we face today, we are also mindful of our responsibility to our shareholders and to future generations as we pursue operational excellence and heighten sustainability initiatives,” Pangilinan said. INQ
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