MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Investments Corp. on Wednesday said its consolidated core net income for the first quarter of the year jumped 15 percent on the back of profit growth from all its businesses.
The Manny Pangilinan-led firm said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that its consolidated core net income increased to P2.2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 from the P1.9 billion registered in the first quarter of 2013.
The increase was attributed to earnings growth at Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) on the back of traffic growth and increased shareholdings in Manila North Tollways Corporation.
Growth was also seen from earnings at Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) due to moderately higher water and energy volumes sold, and growth in its Hospital Group.
Maynilad contributed P1 billion or 40 percent of the company’s net operating income.
Meralco and MPTC contributed 0.9 billion or 33 percent and P0.6 billion or 21 percent, respectively.
The Hospital Group, meanwhile, contributed P169 million or 6 percent of the total income.
“All our businesses achieved growth in profitability for the first quarter, helped in large measure by debt refinancing last year,” said MPIC president and chief executive officer Jose Ma. K. Lim.
“We anticipate continued volume growth for the rest of 2014 but given ongoing uncertainties over regulatory stability for water, road and power prices it is prudent to defer giving away earnings guidance for the full year at this time,” he added.
Increased stakes in Victorias Milling
Metro Pacific also reported that it has increased its stake in the country's largest sugar milling firm Victorias Milling Corp.
Metro Pacific Holdings Inc. (MPHI) said it purchased an additional 35 million common shares in Victorias Milling at a price of P4.75 per share, representing 1.48 percent stake, and another 5.219 million shares purchased on April 29 also at P4.75 per share, representing 0.22 percent stake.
MPHI now owns 7.48 percent after initially acquiring 5.78 percent of Victorias Milling.
"MPHI now directly owns 177.213 million common shares, representing 7.485 percent of the outstanding shares of the issuer and has the sole power to vote and dispose of these shares of the issuer," the firm said.
This is the second acquisition of Pangilinan’s group in the sugar business, after buying a 34 percent interest in Roxas Holdings Inc. in 2013.
MPHI has a 55 percent interest in MPIC.