Power and toll road units lift Metro Pacific 2022 core profit by 15%
Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the infrastructure giant led by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, said profits bounced higher in 2022 as waning pandemic fears pushed up earnings for its key power and toll road units.
The company said core profits last year jumped 15 percent to P14.2 billion as the contributions from operations rose 10 percent, a stock exchange filing on Wednesday showed.
The company also underscored a 5-percent drop in interest costs after embarking on a “strategic debt management” program to refinance obligations amid rising interest rates.
“Our continuing earnings growth reflects significant volume increases for all our core businesses together with our intense focus on operational efficiencies,” Pangilinan, who is chair, president and CEO of Metro Pacific, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This has been achieved on the strength of years of significant investments in improving the quality of our services,” he added.
Power accounted for 65 percent of operating income last year, followed by toll roads (30 percent); water (14 percent); and other segments such as railways, healthcare, agribusiness, real estate and fuel storage, which incurred losses of P1.8 billion.
Metro Pacific is the main shareholder of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power retailer.
Meralco reported total revenues of P426.5 billion, up 34 percent, on strong volume growth while net income soared 21 percent to a record P28.4 billion in 2022.
Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which operates roads such as the North Luzon Expressway and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway apart from toll roads in Vietnam and Indonesia, saw revenues last year climb 31 percent to a record P22.9 billion, partly fuelled by the revenge travel surge.
The subsidiary ended the year with a core profit of P5.7 billion, up 46 percent.
Its water services arm, Maynilad Water Services, saw revenues increase 4 percent to P22.9 billion while core profit declined 7 percent to P6 billion on higher operating costs.
The company’s hospital group under Metro Pacific Health saw core profits fall 24 percent to P1.1 billion as COVID-19 infections fell and as the company booked depreciation costs from hospital projects and invested more in “network integration and digitalization.”
The Light Rail Transit Line 1 project, a venture with Ayala Corp., saw losses of P472 million last year due to debt and concession payments while revenues rose 58 percent to P1.8 billion amid higher passenger volume.
Pangilinan also highlighted the company’s aggressive investments in agriculture, including the acquisition of the Carmen’s Best dairy group and two ventures with Israel’s LR Group to establish modern dairy and vegetable farms in the Philippines.
Metro Pacific recently announced the acquisition of a 34.7-percent stake in listed coconut processing and exports firm Axelum Resources Corp. to scale its business.
“It has been a transformative year for MPIC. With the same commitment that we have poured into the country’s underinvested utilities sector, we have now bravely pushed ahead with our plans to invest in Philippine agriculture, a critical area of focus with profound ties to poverty reduction and food security,” Pangilinan said.
“We have always believed that improving the quality of essential services and helping to address the basic needs of our stakeholders is a necessary step in creating sustainable long-term value,” he added.
MPIC eyes market pole position for Axelum
Metro Pacific considers delisting from PSE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.