Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Monday core net income rose 6 percent in 2019 to P23.832 billion from P22.408 billion in 2018, driven by a 6-percent sales volume growth.
Reported net income, adjusted to exclude the effect of foreign exchange gains or losses, impairment charges, mark-to-market adjustments and other one-time and exceptional transactions, increased slightly to P23.285 billion last year from P23.017 billion in 2018.
Meralco president Ray Espinosa said the primary drivers of sales volume growth were residential and commercial customers.
“The property sector is buoyant, not just for POGO [Philippine offshore gaming operators] which is on the commercial side. The more residential units are turned over and occupied. That contributes to energy sales,” Espinosa said.
Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the initial operating results in January and February were also positive.
“We will continue to execute our investments with significant ambition in power generation, and other strategic and high growth areas amidst the challenges,” Pangilinan said.
Gross revenues went up 5 percent in 2019 to P318.3 billion from P304.5 billion in 2018, as a result of higher energy sales volume and pass-through generation charges brought about by higher average fuel prices, a weaker peso and higher spot prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market from March to July 2019.
Meralco chief finance officer Betty Sy-Yap said the year 2019 saw 51 yellow alerts and 15 red alerts in Luzon versus only seven yellow alerts in 2018.
“Electricity revenues amounting to P310.1 billion was stable at 97 percent of gross revenues compared with P295.4 billion in 2018. Generation and other pass-through components as a percentage of total electricity revenues was at 79 percent in 2019,” Sy-Yap said.
She said Meralco’s distribution charges remained unchanged, while aggregate distribution revenues grew by six percent in 2019 to P65.9 billion from 2018, reflecting the impact of higher volumes distributed and the sales mix.
Meralco’s energy sales volume grew 6 percent to 46,871 gigawatt-hours in 2019 which included volume distributed by Clark Electric Distribution Corp.
Residential volume posted a growth of 8 percent, providing 14,589 gWh, accounting for 31 percent of total volume. Residential volume growth was notable in Batangas, Quezon, Cavite, Bulacan and Pampanga.
Combined commercial sales volume grew 6 percent to 18,483 gWh or 39 percent of total volume. Commercial sales volume was supported by the positive business outlook and the continuing volume from POGO and BPO sectors.
POGO and the steady contribution of business process outsourcing sectors boosted the growing customer base outside Metro Manila.
Industrial sales volume rose 4 percent due to the slow year-on-year sales of the semiconductor industry. Industrial sales accounted for 29 percent of the total volume last year.
Meralco ended 2019 with 6.9 million customer accounts, with a net 268,000 new customer accounts.