The Salim Group in the Philippines sees a brighter profit outlook for its infrastructure unit in 2016, but remains cautious about its telecommunication business.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman Manuel Pangilinan said “the prospects are bright [for MPIC]. I think the economy is going strong.”
The government expects the economy to grow by 7 percent to 8 percent this year.
MPIC posted a 30-percent increase in net income in first nine months of 2015 to P7.8 billion from P6 billion year-on-year.
MPIC, the local unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., has investments in toll roads, water utility, power generation and hospitals.
Pangilinan said the electricity volume of Manila Electric Co. in January rose 9 percent on year.
He added the tollway business continued to post a modest growth in terms of vehicle traffic volume due to lower fuel prices.
Manila North Tollways Corp. chief operating officer Raul Ignacio expects vehicle traffic at North Luzon Expressway and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway to grow by 5 percent to 7 percent this year. The daily average vehicle traffic at NLEx was 200,000 and 35,000 for SCTEx.
Ignacio said the P650-million integration of NLEx and SCTEx would be completed before the Holy Week, reducing the travel time to by 35 to 45 minutes from Balintawak to Tarlac.
He added the company likely posted P8 billion in revenues last year.
Pangilinan, however, sees a tough year for Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. in 2016.
“There’s has been some progress in some fronts, but it’s a tough year. Maybe because of the nature of the business, it’s really transforming fast and radically. So, we are still trying to understand fully [what] the transformation really needs,” Pangilinan, who also the chairman of PLDT, said.
The country’s largest telecom company allotted P43 billion this year for its mobile and broadband networks expansion.
PLDT’s total capital spending in the last six years including 2015 was about $4.6 billion.
“We believe these expenditures are vital in order to provide the level of service required by the market and for PLDT to be robustly competitive for the future. These investments, as well as our growing portfolio of partnerships with the best in the global digital space, will serve to fortify our position as the country’s leading digital services provider and enable us in the emerging digital landscape,” he said.
PLDT reported a net income of P25.3 billion in the January-to-September period, down from P28 billion in the same period last year.
Consolidated revenue was flat at P127.87 billion in the first nine months of 2015 from P127.32 billion in 2014.