First Gen booked lower profit of P3.3b in first 3 months of 2020

First Gen Corp., the power generation unit of the Lopez Group, posted a net income of P3.3 billion ($65 million) in the first quarter of 2020, down 20 percent from P4.2 billion ($81 million) year-on-year.

First Gen attributed the reduced net income to lower electricity sales across all platforms, though partially offset by reduced interest expenses and taxes.

“With this unforeseen pandemic, 2020 will be challenging for all. Though electricity is an essential need, First Gen has not been spared from the difficulties. The lockdown imposed in March has translated to lower electricity demand,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said in a statement Tuesday.

Recurring net income attributable to equity holders also reached P3.3 billion ($65 million) in the first quarter, down 15 percent from P4 billion ($77 million) on year.

First Gen operates 3,492 megawatts of clean, low-carbon and renewable portfolio, which accounts for 21 percent of the country’s gross generation.

First Gen primarily uses clean and indigenous fuels such as natural gas, geothermal energy from steam, hydro-electric, wind and solar power.

“We are now more than ever strengthened in our strategy to catalyze the country’s movement towards a decarbonized future. We believe that we should leave this place better than when we found it, and First Gen will play a catalyzing role producing more clean and renewable energy projects throughout the Philippines,” Puno said.

Recurring earnings of First Gen’s natural gas-fired power plants declined during the period.

The gas plants suffered from lower electricity sales resulting from depressed demand with the start of the enhanced community quarantine order in the latter part of March, as well as higher operating expenses as it booked expenses to aid employees and third parties for the ECQ.

The gas platform registered an income of P2 billion ($39 million), down 13 percent from P2.4 billion ($45 million) in the first quarter of 2019.

Energy Development Corp. contributed flat recurring earnings of P1.3 billion ($26 million) from its geothermal, wind and solar platform in the first quarter, almost unchanged from P1.4 billion ($26 million) on year.

First Gen said despite lower electricity sales, the geothermal company booked savings in its operating and interest expenses as an outcome of improvement initiatives.

The hydro platform’s recurring earnings contribution dropped 51 percent at P200 million ($5 million) in the first quarter from P500 million ($10 million) mainly due to lower prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, though partially offset by higher ancillary service sales.

First Gen’s consolidated revenues from the sale of electricity in the first quarter declined 10 percent to P24.4 billion ($481 million) from P28 ($534 million) in 2019.

Topics: First Gen Corp. , Lopez Group , net income
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