Meralco likely hit P16-B profit target for 2012 - MVP

MANILA, Philippines - Higher electricity sales likely boosted Manila Electric Co.'s (Meralco) earnings to P16 billion in 2012, its target for the year, the utility firm's chairman said.

Manuel V. Pangilinan commented on Meralco's 2012 financial performance ahead of the release of the company's net income report.

"I think we did meet our guidance. That's our guidance so our goal is to meet it," he said.

Meralco's 2012 core profit target was equivalent to a 7.4% growth from the P14.9 billion it booked in 2011.

Meralco is the Philippines' largest power distributor, but it now wants to put up its own generation plants. 

The company earlier said it would put up power plants with capacity of up to 2,700 megawatts, slated for commercial operation by 2021.

Pangilinan said Meralco has sufficient funds to finance these investments internally.

"We are actively looking at power generation here and in the region and if we could also invest in new franchise areas," he said. "We have sufficient cash, ample cash."

Meralco posted a core net income of P12.898 billion in the first 9 months of 2012, up 8% from P11.949 billion in the same period the year before.

Net income, which included extraordinary gains, went up 37% year on year to P13.6 billion. -