Meralco: Strong sales, generation boost core income to P37B

MANILA ELECTRIC Co. (Meralco) saw a 37% increase in its core net income to P37.1 billion in 2023, driven by strong energy sales and power generation, the company said on Monday.

“Meralco’s 2023 performance has exceeded expectations… This year, we expect to move forward with our long-term goal of achieving sustainable energy security through our investments in utility scale power generation projects, including exploring the possible adoption of nuclear energy in the country,” Meralco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a statement.

Consolidated revenues rose by 4% to P443.6 billion, driven by the higher sales volumes in the company’s higher distribution business.

Energy sales volume improved by 4% to 51,044 gigawatt-hours (GWh), said Betty C. Siy-Yap, Meralco’s senior vice-president and chief finance officer.

Higher energy sales were seen in the residential and commercial volumes, she said.

The commercial segment reached 17,403 GWh in 2023, up 9% due to “strong business recovery,” particularly in the demand from hotels and leisure sectors.

The residential segment saw a 4% increase to 17,781 GWh, attributed to higher usage of cooling appliances amid El Niño.

Sales volume in the industrial segment slipped by 1% to 14,113 GWh as the semiconductor industry posted a negative year-end sales.

“We also saw very strong contributions from our generation driven by continued contribution of Pacific Light Power Limited in Singapore and San Buenaventura Power Limited,” Ms. Yap said at the briefing.

Singapore-based Pacific Light, a subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), reported that its core net income grew by 34% to P16.2 billion.

San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. booked a core net income of P2.5 billion, down 30% while Global Business Power Corp. managed to turn around its last year’s core net loss of P2.7 billion to P505 million.

MGen’s renewable energy arm, MGen Renewable Energy, Inc., reported a core net income of P67 million, up by 132%.

Meanwhile, Jose Ronald V. Valles, Meralco’s first vice-president and head of its regulatory management, said that two companies withdrew their bids for the 260-megawatt  (MW) procurement.

“I understand that today was the date of submission of the bid but the two bidders have withdrawn their expressions of interests and therefore resulted in failed bidding,” he said.

He said that the company would report to the Department of Energy and request a second round of bidding.

To recall, 1590 Energy Corp. (1590 EC) and San Roque Hydropower, Inc. (SRHI) had expressed interest to participate in the 260-MW bidding.

1590 EC owns and operates the 225-MW diesel power plant in Bauang, La Union. It is owned by Vivant Energy Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of listed Vivant Corp.

SRHI, formerly known as Strategic Power Development Corp., is a subsidiary of San Miguel Global Power Holdings, serving as the administrator of the 345-MW San Roque hydroelectric power plant through an independent power producer administrator agreement.

Meralco has launched the biddings for the 260-MW peak requirement and 400-MW baseload requirement as it expects power demand to increase in the summer months.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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