Meralco sees ‘better’ financial results for H1 on higher sales

By Lenie Lectura – July 24, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) sees “better” financial results in the first half of the year, mainly on account of improved electricity sales.

“It’s better than last year, helped by the volume,” said Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan after the ceremonial switch-on ceremony of its Cagbalete microgrid project.

He said electricity sales volume grew “better than historic average.”

“It is good but not double digit,” added the Meralco executive.

The country’s largest distribution utility firm will announce Monday its first-half financial and operating results.

From January to June 2018, Meralco’s core profit went up by 7 percent to P10.85 billion.

Revenues, meanwhile, stood P150.54 billion, 7 percent higher compared with P141 billion for the same period in 2017. The higher revenues are seen as the result of the combined effects of the following: 7-percent increase in volume of energy sold; increased generation charge brought about by higher fuel prices; weakening of the peso vis-a-vis the US dollar;  higher local Consumer Price Index; and higher prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

During the period, electricity sales went up by 6.5 percent to 21,665 gigawatt hours (GWh).

Pangilinan, meanwhile, commented that renewable energy (RE) will play a significant role in Meralco’s power portfolio, following President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) the other day. He also commented that the Chief Executive delivered a “very good” speech.

He said RE would be a big part of Meralco’s portfolio. Gas and coal, he said, represent 40 percent each of Meralco’s power sourcing requirements to date.

Duterte, in his Sona, reiterated the need for the country to develop more RE sources and reduce dependence on traditional energy sources such as coal.

Meralco, through its power-generation arm, is pushing for the completion of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable-energy projects in the next five to seven years.

As part of this plan, MGEN Renewable Energy Inc. has been established to serve as the platform for the strategic push to develop renewable-energy projects, primarily solar, wind and run-of-river hydro.

Meralco President Ray Espinosa said on Wednesday that the utility firm is in talks with a number of RE developers.

“That’s ongoing. We will able to announce one soon on solar,” he said.