First Gen 2020 profits down 7%

First Gen plants resume operations

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation recorded a seven percent drop in its net income for 2020 to Php13.7 billion, as attributable to shareholders from the operations of its 3,492-megawatt (MW) clean, low-carbon, and renewables portfolio. 

The company likewise delivered lower operating expenses, interest expenses, and incurred foreign exchange gains. First Gen had Php15.4 billion in earnings from the same period in 2019.

First Gen’s natural gas platforms suffered from a seven percent decrease in earnings for the year to Php9.3 billion from Php10.4 billion in 2019. This comes as the 420MW San Gabriel power plant had an unplanned outage in September 2020 and incurred higher income taxes as its Income Tax Holiday expired at the end of March 2020. Repair works on the plant, located in Batangas City, were completed as of last month.

Meanwhile, nearby 100MW Avion natural gas-fired power plant was affected by low spot market prices, although slightly offset by fresh earnings from the start of its ancillary service contract in June. From a recurring attributable net income to parent of Php10.1 billion in 2019, the gas platform generated Php9.2 billion in 2020.

First Gen also reported an 11% decline in recurring net income attributable to equity holders  to Php12.6 billion in last year compared to Php14.8 billion in 2019 due to lower electricity sales across all platforms. 

The firm’s consolidated revenues from electricity sales fell 15% to Php91.2 billion from Php111.8 billion year-on-year, as all platforms were affected by the decline in demand brought by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in lower prices. 

Meanwhile, First Gen subsidiary Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) attributable earnings contribution was slashed by 90% to Php0.1 billion drop last year from Php0.7 billion the year prior due to lower rates at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Last week, EDC reported a 6.6% drop in its net income for 2020.

“While we’re grateful that First Gen was marginally affected by the decline in power demand resulting from the pandemic, we are still looking forward to a better 2021. We are also preparing for this [recovery] by, among other things, commencing the construction of the country’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal next month which puts the company in a good position for expanding its gas portfolio,” First Gen President and COO Francis Giles Puno said in a statement.