MANILA, Philippines - The combined net income of publicly listed firms fell by double digits in the first quarter of the year, reflecting slower economic growth, the Philippine Stock Exchange reported (PSE) Tuesday.
The PSE said total net income of listed firms went down 22.6% in January to March to P106.98 billion from P138.21 billion last year.
This was despite a 10% increase in consolidated revenue to P857.78 billion.
The figures were gathered from the first quarter 2011 financial statements of 228 out of 247 domestic firms whose shares are traded on the exchange.
The PSE said the financial performance of the firms was mixed in the first quarter, with the industrial, holding firm and services sectors posting lower net profits.
Members of the PSE index (PSEi), the measure of overall stock market performance, also reported a 26.3% decline in their net incomes for the period. PSEi companies comprised 65.6% of total market income.
"The first quarter earnings of our listed firms reflected the slower growth of our economy after coming from an election year and dealing with tighter government spending. It appears that this is also a consolidation phase similar to what our market experienced after a phenomenal run last year," PSE president and CEO Hans Sicat said.
However, Sicat said investors remained upbeat about the prospects of listed firms as evidenced by the PSEi hitting new record highs.
"Hopefully, our firms' second quarter corporate earnings, which should be released between this month and the next, will be able to validate this renewed confidence," added Sicat.
On Monday, the PSEi rose 0.39% to a new all-time high of 4,476.01. The previous record was set last Friday.
Among sectors, the industrial group saw the biggest decline of 47.6% as some companies posted lower revenues.
First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC) registered a decline in net income as a result of lower electricity sales and reduced equity in net earnings of associates. Lack of non-recurring gain, meanwhile, caused the drop in San Miguel Brewery Inc.'s profit.
Holding firms also registered a profit decline of 21.3% due to lower earnings of subsidiaries.
Lopez Holdings Corp. was affected by the decline in FPHC's net income as well as ABS-CBN Corp.'s lower revenues in the absence of election-related advertisements. Aboitiz Equity Ventures' net income also decreased as its subsidiaries, Aboitiz Power Corp. and Pilmico Foods Corp., experienced lower average selling prices. Income of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. also fell on lower wireless and fixed line revenues and foreign exchange gains.
Bucking the trend were the financial, property and mining sectors.
The collective net income of the financial sector rose 1.1%, while that of the property jumped 19.4%. The mining and oil sector posted the biggest income increase of 378.9% as global metal prices improved.