July 26, 2021 at 08:10 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
Manila Electric Co., the biggest electricity retailer, said Monday net income surged 45 percent in the first half of the year to P9.9 billion from P6.844 billion a year ago on the back of a 7-percent increase in energy sales volume with the gradual reopening of the economy.
Meralco said consolidated core net income increased 8 percent in the first six months to P11.4 billion from P10.6 billion in the same period last year on higher volume and contribution from San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Consolidated.
“The arrival and dispensation of vaccines should pave the way for a gradual opening of the economy. It is my ardent hope that we carry on with fortitude until we win the battle,” said Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan.
Pangilinan did not provide full-year earnings forecast on the possible impact of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
“We have seen the uptick in Meralco’s core income for the first half...and the volumes are up, customer count are up, net system input and peak demand are also up. We have not given any guidance for the full year because we are concerned about the recent spread of Delta virus which could lead to further lockdowns. That’s a factor we cannot foresee the impact on sales moving forward,” Pangilinan said.
“But we are very optimistic that profits will be ahead barring any unforeseen circumstances. Ahead of last year for 2021,” he said.
Consolidated distribution revenue, which represented 22 percent of electricity revenues, grew 7 percent to P31.5 billion, consistent with the increase in volume.
Consolidated energy sales volumes, which included 270 gigawatt-hours of energy distributed by Clark Electric Distribution Corp., hit 22,663 GWh or 7 percent higher than in the first half of 2020.
Meralco said the increase in consolidated volumes was a reversal of the 7-percent decline in 2020.
The company said that as most of its franchise area transitioned from almost two months of enhanced community quarantine and Modified ECQ to general community quarantine with heightened restrictions starting May 15, commercial volume began a gradual rebound. Retail sales in malls, restaurants and other establishments began to pick up.
The average daily net system input, which represents the energy purchased to serve demand, rose to 144 GWh in May and June, compared with an average NSI of 133 GWh in 2019 and 124 GWh in 2020.
Meralco said the share of residential sales volume also dipped to 37 percent from 38 percent in 2020 of total sales, as consolidated volume increased 3 percent to 8,370 GWh from the 2020 volume.
It said the growth came from the continuing work‐from‐home and online distance learning arrangements, tempered slightly by cooler temperature beginning June, with the onset of the rainy season.
Commercial sales volume reached 7,440 GWh in the first half, fueled by the 54-percent and 29-percent increase in May and June, respectively.
Meralco said the growing public confidence with the gradual increase in the number of people vaccinated and first full month of GCQ in June resulted in the uptick in business activities and foot traffic to malls, restaurants, hotels and other retail outlets.
Industrial sales volume also grew 23 percent to 6,781 GWh, on higher demand from the electronics, construction and construction‐related industries.
The gradual opening of the global economy is reflected in the increasing demand for semiconductor and electronic components. Construction, steel and cement industries’ demand picked up on account of project backlogs and a race to substantial completion before any major weather disturbance hits the franchise area.