By MYRNA M. VELASCO
The consolidated core income of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) had climbed 6.0-percent to ₱23.832 billion for full year 2019 from the year-ago level of ₱22.408 billion, essentially surpassing the ₱23 billion target earlier set by the utility firm.
For reported net income, the company logged a very marginal 1.0-percent jump to ₱23.285 billion from ₱23.017 billion in 2018, according to Meralco Chief Financial Officer Betty Siy-Yap.
The reported net income, according to the power utility company, had been adjusted “to exclude the effect of foreign exchange gains or losses, impairment charges, mark-to-market adjustments and other one-time, exceptional transactions.”
The upturn in the company’s financial performance last year, she further reported, enabled the company to declare core earnings per share of ₱21.145.
The total dividend earnings per share had been set at ₱18.589, accounting for 75 percent payout out of the firm’s income last year – and to be settled by April 15.
In terms of consolidated revenues, the power firm registered 5.0 percent hike to ₱318.315 billion last year, with the bulk of ₱244.207 billion gobbled up by generation and other pass-through charges; then ₱65.891 billion came from distribution revenues; while ₱8.217 billion had been posted by non-electricity revenues. Capital expenditures (capex) of the company had also jumped significantly to ₱20.233 billion last year – which mainly bankrolled sub-transmission and distribution facilities to underpin load growth within its network. That was a substantial rise from ₱13.669 billion in 2018.
The uptrend in the company’s profitability last year was primarily propped by increased energy sales, which had been up 5.8 percent to 46,871 gigawatt-hours, an increase of 2,558 GWh from the 2018 level, as noted by Meralco Head of Customer Retail Services and Corporate Communications Victor S. Genuino.
Across segments, it was the residential end-users which posted the highest growth at 7.6-percent; followed by commercial end-users with 5.8-percent; while industrial customers logged 3.8-percent growth.
“Residential finished the year strong, growing 7.6-percent to 14,581 GWh,” he said, adding that the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors “creating a new breed of condominium dwellers, growing customer base outside is also contributing to the growth.”
For this year, Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan noted that “the initial operating results in January 2020 and indicative for February are positive.”
Moving forward, he emphasized that the power firm “will continue to execute our investments with significant ambition in power generation, and other strategic and high growth areas amidst the challenges.”