Meralco reaches P19B 2016 core income target

Meralco posts increase in electricity charges for November

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) recorded a P19.58 billion core net income in 2016, up four percent from the previous year.

Meralco chief finance officer Betty Siy-Yap said that the company’s core net income rose by four percent from P18.89 billion in 2015.

Reported energy sales went up 8.1 percent to 40, 142 gigawatt-hours (GWh), and customer base increased by 4.4 percent to 6.04 million customers.

However, consolidated revenues went down to P257.18 billion as lower pass-through prices muted the impact of volume energy distributed increase, and the lower average consolidated distribution rate.

“If you had a perfect storm, this was perfect weather. Number one, economy was buoyant and strong with growth at 6.8 percent, we had much warmer temp particularly in the first five months of 2016. Low inflation, low interest rates were favorable for consumers and at the same time, we saw remittances from OFWs as well as revenues of BPOs continued to increase and this provided a strong basis for consumer spending to be very strong and, as a result, I am pleased to advise Meralco continued to have a reasonably, favorable year,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said.

But Meralco is turning cautious this year with oil and coal prices, temperature, commodities, and foreign exchange performance with the looming interest rate hike in the US.

“The first two months, looking at billed volume in January, rose 6.9 percent which was excellent. Then February sort of turned south at 1.4 percent. It’s difficult to ascertain demand profile for 2017 would look like so consensus was to defer guidance until we get a better sense,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.

Reyes said that coal prices have moved from $50 to $100 while oil rose to $50 and is seen to play around $60 to $70.

“These are things that require…monitoring and anticipated action or reaction, how do we offset the adverse negative effect on our operations and on consumers pockets,” Reyes said. “There’s some view to being prudent and deferring any guidance until we see the shape of what’s happening.”

Pangilinan said there remains room for growth for Meralco as soon as its power plants start operating.

“We are always optimistic and management is under the mandate of continuing bottom line, where the major driver for that is through] power generation investments which may manifest itself maybe in 2019 when San Buenaventura Power Limited in Quezon becomes operational. After that, there should be a series of plants that should be built and finished by 2020,” he said.

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