Meralco’s core earnings declined 15% to P15.7b in three quarters

Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Monday it posted a core net income of P15.7 billion in the first three quarters, down 15 percent from P18.5 billion in the same period last year, as energy sales declined 7 percent.

The company said consolidated net income reached P11.3 billion in the nine-month period, down from P18.3 billion a year ago, following the recognition of Meralco’s share in the impairment of investment in PacificLight Power Pte Ltd. of P2.7 billion in the first quarter.

“This pandemic has brought about unexpected and radical change in everyday life, giving rise to complex challenges as well as new opportunities. Amidst all the challenges, we can play a meaningful role in the lives of our customers and in helping the country get back on the road to recovery,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said Meralco would continue to provide the most reliable and resilient network to ensure that the entire franchise is enabled for the economic upturn.

“Today, we estimate that we need to execute close to P50 billion of capital expenditures for our distribution business and generation investments. We look at this as an opportunity to create jobs, propel business activities and stimulate consumption,” he said.

Pangilinan said Meralco was on the lookout for ways to limit the adverse impact of the pandemic while remaining steadfast in commitment to keeping the lights on to 7 million customers.

“We firmly believe that there is opportunity in every crisis and, are hopeful that we will emerge stronger than ever. We are confident that we will surpass the P21 billion consolidated core net income guidance for 2020 provided in the first half of this year and be able to meet our committed return to shareholders,” said Pangilinan.

Meralco’s gross revenues amounted to P214.2 billion in the nine-month period, 11 percent lower than the same period in 2019 because of the 7-percent decline in energy sales volumes and the effect of lower generation pass-through charges.

Consolidated energy sales volume reached 32,539 gigawatthours, representing a 7-percent decline due to the net effect of the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine.

Meralco said that with the gradual easing under GCQ, industrial and commercial sales volumes showed signs of recovery although residential sales volumes continued to account for a larger share of total volumes.

It said that as of Sept. 30, residential volume accounted for 39 percent of the total, up from 31 percent in the same period last year, while the share of commercial declined to 34 percent from 39 percent and industrial to 27 percent from 29 percent.

Meralco attributed the increase in residential sales volume to the continuing work-from-home arrangement and online education for most of the student population. Warmer temperature also increased household consumption.

The company attributed the commercial sales volume recovery to the increasing business activities of traditional sales drivers, which are retail establishments, hotels and restaurants.

Industrial sales volumes were boosted by the semiconductor industry which was allowed to operate at 100-percent capacity with the increased demand for 5G and automotive electronics.

The continuing demand for consumer driven industries, which include food and beverage, chemicals, and packaging contributed to the catch-up energy volume.

Topics: Manila Electric Co. , Meralco , net income
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