ACEN income surges to P13.1 B in 2022

Factoring in "revaluation gains" as well as outcome from operations of its generating assets in the Philippines and offshore markets, Ayala-led ACEN Corporation has posted significant income surge to P13.1 billion last year, dwarfing its P5.3 billion profit in the prior year.

The company similarly reported that its revenues leaped to P35.2 billion last year from a leaner P26 billion level in 2021.

The significant upturn in the Ayala energy firm’s consolidated income resulted in earnings per share of P0.33 versus the previous year’s P0.18 per share.

ACEN explained that the improvement on its financial performance factored in P8.6 billion of “net impact in revaluation gains resulting from the company’s full acquisition of the Australia platform, as well as provisions for a Supreme Court decision voiding the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC)’s administered/regulated pricing (ARP) regime and for the Lac Hoa & Hoa Dong wind project in Vietnam.”

The SC decision which nullified the administered pricing enforced on capacities traded at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) was a delayed recovery from the 2013 ‘perfect storm’ episode in the Philippine power industry – when allegations of collusion had been thrown against the power companies, but in the end, the judicial ruling still allowed affected firms to recoup deferred price settlements.

ACEN emphasized its attributable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) hovered at P14.3  billion last year; and that had been 5.0-percent lower compared to 2021.

“This was due to challenges in Philippine operations, whose contribution to attributable EBITDA dropped 29-percent year-on-year to P5.2 billion in 2022,” the company stressed; qualifying that “high cost of power due to net merchant buying at elevated WESM prices and typhoon-related curtailment contributed to the decline.”

Nevertheless, ACEN noted that “contributions from international operations offset the decline, as attributable EBITDA rose 20-percent to P9.5 billion, driven by new operating capacity in Vietnam and India.”

Onward, ACEN President and CEO Eric T. Francia indicated that their power generation portfolio will be on significant buildup – and that shall include “700 MW in new capacity expected to come online in the Philippines by the end of the year, and another 521 MW of new capacity commencing operations in Australia.”

Given its continuing capacity ramp-up, the ACEN chief executive said “we expect to move into a net selling merchant position and be on a stronger footing in 2023.”

On the firm’s leaning for ‘clean energy finance’ on greenfield projects, ACEN CFO and Treasurer Cora Dizon highlighted that “we continue to diversify our funding options, providing a strong foundation for our ambitious 2030 target to achieve 20GW in renewables capacity.”

She specified that “the success of our recent funding initiatives shows that the capital markets and financial sector continue to regard ACEN as a leader in innovative and sustainable instruments, such as the ETM (energy transition mechanism), green bonds, and green loans.”

The Ayala energy company stated it currently has over 2,400 MW of projects under construction – and the aggregate capital spend being lined up would be ranging from P50 billion to P70 billion. Fundamentally, this will be part of the 20-gigawatt (GW) capacity boost that ACEN will be achieving until 2030.

“The company accelerated its renewables expansion throughout 2022, spending P50.6 billion in capex as it started construction of over 1,300 MW of new solar and wind farms in the Philippines, Australia, and India during the year,” the Ayala firm narrated. Its biggest offshore market of Australia, in particular, has more than 1,000MW of renewable energy projects currently under construction.