Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Monday net income climbed 14.4 percent in the first nine months to P18.212 billion from P15.928 billion in the same period last year on higher energy sales
Core income, which excluded the effects of foreign exchange gains or losses, mark-to-market adjustments, gain on disposal of investment and another one-time exceptional transactions, also rose 9 percent in January to September to P16.69 billion from P15.37 billion a year ago.
“The main driver of growth for Meralco continues to be our core distribution business, with volumes from real estate businesses, including the Philippine online gaming operators, having provided the uplift for the commercial sector,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
Total energy sales rose 4.8 percent to 32,921 gigawatt-hours in the nine month period. Industrial energy sales, which accounted for 30 percent, grew by over 7 percent to 9,768 gWh, while commercial volumes, with a 39-percent share, reached 12,938 gWh.
Residential volumes increased 3 percent to 10,111 gWh as demand was dampened by weather disturbances, outages, economics and temperature.
Meralco officials said residential volumes registered a negative growth of one percent ub July, the first such decline recorded due to the impact of higher inflation, interest rates and weaker peso.
Meralco said this negative growth for residential customers continued in August and September, but the declines were partly offset by both commercial and industrial sales during the third quarter.
“The third quarter, which historically generated the strongest volumes in any operating year, managed to remain relatively good, albeit affected by adverse macro-economic factors and weather disturbances,” Pangilinan said.
Core income in the third quarter reached P5.835 billion, or 10 percent higher than P5.252 billon in the same period last year while reported income went up by 15 percent to P6.239 billion from P5.427 billion.
Electric revenues hit P221.3 billion in the nine-month period, up six percent higher from a year ago, on higher generation charges resulting from the combined effects of increased prices of coal, oil and gas, and the further depreciation of the peso versus the US dollar.
Meralco said it was monitoring electricity consumption from all sectors and was in cautious “wait and see” mode for the final provisions of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities or Trabaho bill.
“We intend to ensure our volume and customer count growth trajectories, remain on track as we enrich more lives and livelihoods, enable businesses and industries to compete and succeeded, empower our customers and deliver long-term integrated solutions,” Pangilinan said.
“We remain focused on delivering on our customer service, enhanced customer experience and improved business results, whether in our core distribution business or power generation activities. We remain vigilant of our way forward to ending 2018 with financial results marginally above 2017,” Pangilinan said.
Meralco is set to complete its first power generation facility”•the 455-megawatt San Buenaventura coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon by September 2019 to enable it to meet the power demand in its franchise area and the Luzon grid.