By Myrna M. Velasco
With stronger sales from its diminutive 97-megawatt Avion power facility and better financial turnout for subsidiary Energy Development Corporation (EDC), Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation logged 21-percent income jump to US$217 million (or equivalent P11.3 billion) in the first nine months of the year from US$180 million (P9.4 billion) in the same period in 2018.
The equivalent increase in the company’s income had been at P1.9 billion, and this span chiefly marks financial outcome improvement of the conglomerate’s energy business – including its subsidiary EDC which had lame showing in previous financial review periods given the strike of natural disasters that thumped the operation of some of its electric generating assets.
The company’s net income attributable to equity holders had been at US$220 million (or P11.5 billion) from last year’s US$151 million (P7.9 billion). “This was US$69 million or 46% better than the earnings in the same period in 2018,” the Lopez firm has qualified.
From the results of its January to September operations, First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno noted “we fully expect to end the year with milestone earnings.”
It was further emphasized that EDC contributed recurring earnings of US$67 million (P3.5 billion), manifesting US$14 million climb from the year-ago level of US$52 million. This subsidiary has generating portfolios across wind, solar, hydro and geothermal technologies.
First Gen qualified though that from the suite of its power generating assets, it had been its Avion gas-fired power plant that emerged as the star performer when it comes to contribution to bottom line.
“While the two newer gas plants – the 420MW San Gabriel and 97MW Avion – generated higher electricity sales from their respective customers, it was Avion that provided a larger increase in earnings as the merchant plant enjoyed higher dispatch and higher selling prices in 2019,” the Lopez firm said.
It has to be recalled that when the Luzon grid system had been suffering from tight to supply scarcity in the summer months, it had been the Avion plant of First Gen that helped plugged supply shortfalls in the system.
First Gen indicated its two other gas-fed plants – the 1,000MW Santa Rita and 500MW San Lorenzo facilities, had more or less steady operations as well as contribution to the company’s top and bottom lines.
The combined income fetched by the firm’s gas platform hovered at US$151 million, just inching up by about US$9.0 million from US$142 million (P7.4 billion) in the same three quarters last year.
The company’s hydro generating assets also registered income uptrend of US$8.0 million to US$13 million from the previous year’s leaner turnout of US$5.0 million, attributing such to higher sales in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and as ancillary services capacity offer.