Meralco sales rose 12% in four months

by Alena Mae S. Flores – May 31, 2016 at 11:40 pm 

from Manila Standard Today

Sales volume of Manila Electric Co. rose 12 percent in the first four months this year from a year ago on higher temperatures during the dry months.

“The first four months are very strong, we’re going to end first four months 12.1 percent [up] year to date. But we expect the next few months to be a bit lower,” Meralco senior vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communications Al Panlilio told reporters following the stockholders’ meeting.

He said the onset of the rainy season would impact on the company’s sales but other factors could still provide positive influence on the sales volume.

“I think customer growth also continues to be strong, at 3.9 percent, so there might be an impact on sales because of temperature, but it’s too early to say what it will end up by yearend,” Panlilio said.

He said the Philippine economy was expected to expand further due to a strong anticipated growth in the commercial and industrial sectors.

“For commercial, there are new hotels coming up, new cement plant of Eagle Cement that has been put into stream. There are new businesses coming up. Tiger Resorts is coming in the last quarter,” Panlilio said.

“There are a lot of new customers coming in, big and small, that might still push growth. Temperature will definitely impact, especially in the residential point of view,” he said.

Meralco president and chief executive Oscar Lopez said the power retail company recorded good sales in the first four months, although this could change due to the entry of the cooler months.

“We would expect we will not see the same growth in terms of peak demand, in terms of energy sales as we’ve seen in the first four months. It’s too early to say how much the impact of weather would be,” he said.

He noted other drivers of the company’s financial position, such as the country’s “very good economic conditions, positive consumer and business confidence, low inflation, low interest rates and businesses have more money in pockets.”

Meralco posted a consolidated reported net income of P4.54 billion in the first quarter, up 3 percent from P4.42 billion year-on-year.

Meralco’s core net income also rose 4 percent during the period to P4.6 billion from P4.41 billion in 2015.

Reported net income is adjusted to exclude the effect of foreign exchange gains or losses, mark-to-market adjustments and other one-time, exceptional transactions.

“The sustained upward momentum of the Philippine economy, coupled with very warm temperatures throughout the quarter contributed to driving electricity usage to higher trajectory providing growth opportunities for electricity demand across all industry sectors,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said earlier.

Meralco attributed the higher core net income in the first quarter to the record 12-percent rise in volume of electricity sold, although at lower distribution rate, bigger contribution of subsidiaries to non-electric revenues, increased yields from temporary investments, and the updated provisions for estimated real property taxes on certain utility plants.