By James A. Loyola
Manila Water Company, a unit of Ayala Corporation, grew its net income by 6 percent to P6.5 billion last year mainly due to the approval of the positive tariff adjustment and Business Plan of its Manila Concession.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said that, “beyond the Manila Concession, new business wins and acquisitions establish an ideal platform for further market expansion.”
Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz said “I see our 2018 performance as a testament to our resolve, as we surmounted significant challenges to come out stronger. In the Manila Concession, we have forged a clear path to regulatory stability with the positive conclusion of the Rate Rebasing Exercise.”
Operationally, Manila Water capped off another year of healthy billed volume growth, reaching 4 percent on a consolidated level with the Manila Concession leading the way with a 3 percent increase from the previous year.
Furthermore, the new international acquisitions of East Water in Thailand, and PT Sarana Tirta Ungaran in Indonesia have strengthened the billed volume base by more than 320 million cubic meters (mcm), enabling consolidated billed volume to breach the 1 billion cubic meter threshold.
Continued efficiency and cost management initiatives resulted in the continued strength of its EBITDA and Net Income margins, measured at 64 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
On the regulatory front, 2018 marked a significant milestone as Manila Water saw through a positive conclusion to its Rate Rebasing Exercise with the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS).
Specifically, Manila Water secured a positive tariff adjustment of nearly 25 percent on the current basic tariff for the prevailing Rate Rebasing Period.
Outside the Manila Concession, Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) experienced a banner year in new business development, winning 11 new projects in 2018. Existing subsidiaries continued to post positive revenue growth, increasing 6 percent from the previous year to P3.3 billion.
Internationally, 2018 saw Manila Water undertake its largest investment to date towards regional expansion, with the acquisition of an 18.72 percent stake in East Water in Thailand.
Coupled with the acquisition of PT Sarana Tirta Ungaran in Indonesia, Manila Water increased its equity share in net income of associates by 53 percent in 2018, with billed volume contribution from international subsidiaries more than doubling from the previous year to reach 575 million cubic meters.