MANILA, Philippines – First-quarter earnings of power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) rose 58.2% from the year before, thanks largely to higher electricity sales, especially during the onset of the summer season.
Meralco senior executive VP and COO Oscar Reyes said the company’s net income as of end-March totaled P3.373 billion, against last year’s P2.132 billion.
He noted revenues went up 16% to P65.626 billion, of which 99% or P65.1 billion came from electricity sales.
Reyes said the slightly warmer temperature, along with economic factors such as benign inflation and increase in business activities, allowed Meralco to realize a 10% growth in energy sales volume.
For the first quarter, Meralco’s overall average retail rate was P9.35 per kilowatt-hour, 7% higher than its rate in 2011.
Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said their strong performance keeps them on track towards their core income guidance for the whole year.
Pangilinan earlier said Meralco was eyeing to hit P15 billion income in 2012, slightly higher than its core net income of P14.5 billion in 2011.
“We remain committed to our profit guidance earlier given in the year, but certainly aim at a higher trajectory in the long term,” he noted.
Key in achieving higher profits are the company’s plans to expand outside its current franchise area and venture into power generation.
“Meralco no longer passively waits for a customer to apply for a connection. As we continue to outperform, we are looking further by bringing our expertise to other franchise areas and entering the power generation space,” Pangilinan said.
Meralco’s billed customers rose to 5.07 billion in the first quarter, of which 91% are residential users. – Rappler.com