Manila Electric Co., the country’s largest power retailer, said Friday consolidated core net income grew 9 percent in the first three quarters to P19.6 billion from P18.1 billion a year earlier on higher energy sales and increased earnings of its power generation business.
The power retailer said reported net income also went up by 20 percent to P19.8 billion from P16.5 billion.
Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said power demand was expected to continue to grow despite several challenges, including elevated food and energy prices.
“As we anticipate robust pandemic recovery efforts, there is a good indication that Meralco will surpass our 2021 CCNI,” Pangilinan said, referring to consolidated core net income.
Meralco’s CCNI reached P24.6 billion in 2021, up 13 percent from P21.7 billion in 2020, on the back of a 6-percent increase in sales.
“Meralco remains one with the government and the private sector in ensuring long-term energy security while fully supporting the government’s push to advance the country’s low-carbon energy transition,” Pangilinan said.
“Meralco reiterates its commitment to develop more renewable energy projects, explore opportunities to expand our services, and contribute to the country’s inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” he said.
Consolidated energy sales surpassed the pre-pandemic levels as sales volume went up by 6 percent to 36,553 gigawatt-hours from 34,398 GWh in the same nine months last year.
“Surpassing pre-pandemic levels in our consolidated sales volumes signifies that demand for power, particularly from the commercial segment, will continue to grow as we recover and move forward from the pandemic,” Meralco president and chief executive Ray Espinosa said.
“However, we recognize that elevated fuel prices coupled with the depreciation of the peso, which is already nearing P60 to a dollar, continued to put upward pressure on Meralco’s retail rates,” he said
Monthly sales volumes stayed above the 4,000-GWh level in the third quarter, resulting in a 7-percent growth compared to last year.
Meralco said the resumption of face-to-face schooling, employment rate improvement and fewer mobility restrictions provided more legroom for businesses to recover and expand in the quarter.
Commercial sales volumes grew by 14 percent to 12,841 GWh from 11,281 GWh, with August and September hovering at growth levels of around 20 percent with fewer restrictions this year.
Demand continued to recover and grow towards pre-pandemic levels in high-performing sectors such as retail, real estate, hotels and restaurants, it said. Onsite schooling also boosted sales volume in the education and transport sectors.
Residential sales volume growth was tempered at 12,926 GWh from 12,746 GWh last year.
The industrial segment posted a 4-percent increase in year-to-date sales volumes to 10,677 GWh from 10,263 GWh last year as the food and beverage, plastics and packaging industries went up.
Steel plants, meanwhile, operated at full capacity and contributed to higher sales. The semiconductor industry saw a decline on lower global demand for consumer electronics.
Meralco’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Meralco PowerGen Corp., contributed P3.6 billion to core income in the first nine months, higher than P 893 million in the previous year, driven by the earnings of Singapore-based PacificLight Power Pte. Ltd.
MGen has a total power generation capacity of 2,251 megawatts in the Philippines and Singapore.
Customer count grew to 7.6 million, up 3 percent from 7.4 million, as energization activities continued, particularly for mixed-use buildings, condominiums, subdivisions and retail and telecom customers.
Consolidated revenues reached P314.9 billion, or 36 percent higher than P231.7 billion last year, because of higher pass-through charges from high global fuel prices.
Meralco’s consolidated capital expenditures amounted to P20.8 billion, including P13.5 billion that went to networks consisting of new connections, asset renewals and load growth projects.
Operating expenses were up by 10 percent to P24.9 billion on higher customer-related expenses and increased spending of subsidiaries.