Metro Pacific sets Php58.2-B capex for 2015; profit up 18% in 2014

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Feb. 26 (PNA) — Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is increasing its capital expenditure to 6.2 percent to Php58.2 billion this year, bulk of the amount will be used to boost its water and electricity businesses.

In a press briefing, MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the Php17.4 billion is earmarked for water utility Maynilad Water Services Inc., Php14.7 billion for Manila Electric Company, Php14.7 billion for Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), Php3.5 billion for rail business and Php2.3 billion for hospital units.

MPIC bared its capex program for 2015 after its consolidated core net income expanded by 18 percent to Php8.5 billion from Php7.2 billion.

The company attributed the higher core net income to robust income of Meralco due to higher volumes sold, growth at Maynilad, robust earnings growth at MPTC arising from strong traffic growth and strong organic growth and the benefit from new investments in the Hospital Group.

Jose Ma. K. Lim, MPIC President and Chief Executive Officer, said the conglomerate’s all operating companies reported strong profitability for the year.

“This reflects our intense focus on operational efficiencies but at the cost of years of high capital expenditures… We anticipate continued strong volume growth in 2015 for all our subsidiaries in light of anticipated continuing economic growth,” Lim said.

“Our outlook for 2015 is encouraging on account of continued strong volume growth,” added Pangilinan.

Meanwhile, in terms of contribution to the company’s net operating income in 2014, Maynilad accounted for Php4.4 billion or 43 percent of the aggregate contribution, MERALCO contributed Php3.0 billion or 30 percent of the total, while the tollroads businesses delivered Php2.2 billion or 22 percent.

The Hospital Group contributed Php465 million or five percent of the total. (PNA)