Meralco net income falls as pandemic shutters businesses, industries

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 01 2021 07:48 PM

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CAPTION: Meralco Chairman Manny Pangilinan. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo ]

MANILA – Meralco reported a 9-percent reduction in core net income for 2020 to P21.7 billion while reported net income saw a sharper 30 percent dive to P16.3 billion.

The company attributed the fall in profits to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions which affected its commercial and industrial customers.

"In terms of our performance for 2020, in many respects, the entire number, the entire financial accounts of Meralco was driven by the fact that volume was driven mainly by commercial, industrial, counteracted by a large degree of residential sales," said Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

Meralco, he also said, is not expecting a recovery either in the first quarter of 2021.

"I think for the better part of the first quarter, our numbers are likely to be lower than last year," Pangilinan said. 

Pangilinan also believes the Philippine economy will continue to contract in the first quarter of 2021. But he also said he was seeing signs of recovery. 

"In the latter part of February, we're seeing that the numbers have improved in terms of volume sold, billed volume for the second half of February has improved somewhat compared to January this year."

"So we do hope that it portends to a positive trend for the balance of the year," he added.

Pangilinan also explained, industrial customers have started showing signs of revival but the commercial is still slow in terms of electricity volume sold.

"We still continue to be positive about the outlook for this year that it should be better than 2020," he said.

For now, Pangilinan said vaccinating the country's adult population and making sure everyone has money on their hands should be the government's priorities to ensure a strong comeback for the local economy.

"Even if the fear were lifted, a lot of our people are still unemployed, at least 4 million, 20 million if you count the families," he added.

That's why he encouraged authorities to push for more mobility in the country so that more jobs and businesses can be generated.

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