Meralco profits surge by 6% at P4.6B for Q1

EDC retiring $100 M of Sinagpore Exchange-Listed Notes

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) concluded its business operations with a 6% gain, amounting up to P4.6B flat of core net income for the first quarter of 2017.

This update is slightly higher than 2016’s Q1 P4.59B, said Meralco Chief Finance Officer Betty Siy-Yap.

However, sales are consistently low as volume grew only 2.6% to 9.317 gigawatt per hour (GWh). According to Meralco President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Reyes, the quarter’s slow growth is due to a number of constraints including “(a) cooler temperature, the leap year effect, and the effect of higher inflation, prices and retail rates which affect the customers’ ability to spend.”

The energy provider cited that the recorded cooler temperature of 26.6 degrees celsius first three months in the year affected its lukewarm sales, specifically in residential volume where the average retail price is P7.84 per kWh higher.

At the same time, the leap year absence brought in lower energy sales of approximately 100 GWh.

The first quarter also saw Meralco’s increase in electric revenues, which are up by 12% with an average distribution rate of P1.40 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Business World reports.

Furthermore, Meralco sees growth opportunities through its expansion in consumer base thanks to the additional spending backed by OFW remittances and the sustained economic growth of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

In line with this, Meralco’s net profits soared to 5.9% with from P4.55B to P4.82B.

“Despite global growth and geopolitical uncertainties, we remain confident that the domestic economy will continue to expand at the current pace, or potentially faster, as new drivers weigh in, such as more government/public-private partnership projects with more bilateral funding from regional powerhouses,” said Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan in a statement.

“Meralco will continue to focus on the resultant growth opportunities for its core electricity distribution business and on sustained operational excellence, mindful of business and technology disruptors emerging in the power industry. In respect of these, we will be engaged in a continuing effort to get businesses and regulators aligned with these developments,” he added.