Meralco 2015 Q1 income up 8%

MANILA, April 27 (PNA) — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has gained Php 4.4 billion for the first quarter of 2015, an increase of eight percent compared to the same period last year.

”Consolidated reported net income, which excludes one-time, exceptional charges, for the period also stood at Php 4.4 billion, reflecting a 10 percent growth over 2014,” Meralco said in a press release Monday.

Meralco Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Betty Siy-Yap added the boost was mainly driven by the 4.4 percent growth in electricity customer accounts.

Another contributor to Meralco’s improved income was the 14 percent increase in its net income from subsidiaries, affiliates and other related parties.

Yap stressed Meralco’s revenues was better this year, since the first quarter of 2014 had an adjustment of Php 9.3 billion due to a recalculation by Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) for power purchase prices.

She pointed out Meralco’s cash balance also reflected an increase this 2015 at Php 64.43 billion than 2014’s Php 63.94 billion.

Meralco’s operating expenses, on the other hand, has noted an increase of 17 percent at Php 5.4 billion compared to 2014’s Php 4.6 billion.

It has also paid taxes and licenses worth Php 218 million, which is slightly lower than 2014’s rates.

Generation charge had dropped by 9 percent at Php 4.93 per kilowatthour (kWh) than 2014’s 5.43 per kWh.

Overall, Meralco’s average retail rate for captive customers amounted to Php 8.89 per kWh, 7 percent lower than 2014.

Meralco’s distribution charge is near the Maximum Average Price (MAP) issued by the ERC for 2015 at Php 1.5562 per kWh, with Meralco’s rate at Php 1.55 per kWh.

However, Meralco First Vice President Ivanna Dela Pena said the ERC’s approval on its proposed Php 17.7 billion capital expenditures (CAPEX) will be the basis for either an increase or decrease in distribution charge.

Thus, she could not give an estimate on the change of distribution charge yet. The third regulatory period will end on June 30, 2015.

Oscar Reyes, Meralco’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said the company is still awaiting the ERC’s applicable rules.

”We have filed for and are seeking regulatory approval of our capital expenditure program for the 1st Regulatory year of the 4th Regulatory Period covering the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 amounting to Pesos 17.7 billion, even as we await the issuance by the ERC of the applicable rules,” he said.

For electricity revenues, Meralco has grossed Php 61.07 billion for this first quarter than 2014’s Php 54.04 billion, a boost of 13 percent.

Non-electricity revenues, coming from its “Bayad” Centers and other services, amounted to Php 1.51 billion. An increase of 42.6 percent than 2014’s Php 1.064 billion revenues.

Meralco’s shareholders could also expect higher earnings this year, with a 10.3 percent increase in dividends at Php 3.92 per share than last year’s Php 3.55 per share. (PNA)