MANILA, Philippines - The country’s largest power distributor, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), met its P16-billion profit target for 2012 on the back of higher volume of electricity sales and improving economy.
“I think we did meet our guidance. That’s our guidance so our goal is to meet it,” Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan commented on the utility firm’s 2012 figures ahead of the release of the company’s official financial report. Given this, Meralco did surpass its 2011 profit of P14.9 billion.
He mentioned that other companies he heads—Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC)—also met their profit targets last year.
“We are on track to meeting the P37-billion [profit] for PLDT,” he said, adding that his companies are expected to perform better this year. “We should be better than 2012,” Pangilinan said, adding that it is always the shareholders’ expectation for these firms to post better results.
Meralco, according to him, is awash with cash and does not need to engage in any borrowing this year. “No problem. We have sufficient cash, ample cash.”
Excess cash will be poured into future investments, likely in power generation. “We are actively looking at power generation here and in the region and if we could also invest in new franchise areas [we would do that],” Pangilinan said.
Meralco had said that it plans to put up its own power-generation plants with a capacity of up to 2,700 megawatts and targeted for commercial operation by 2021. The facilities may utilize coal and natural gas.
Meralco has programmed a capital expenditure of P13 billion this year, 18 percent higher than its spending of about P10 billion last year.
Meralco’s core net income at end-September last year grew by 8 percent to P12.898 billion as against P11.949 billion posted in the same period last year. Reported net income for the first nine months of 2012 also increase to P13.6 billion, 37 percent higher than in the same period posted a year ago.
Revenues, meanwhile, stood at P214.7 billion, up by 14 percent from P189.1 billion in the same period last year.