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With January-September core income hitting ₧19.6B, Meralco expects to breach 2021 full-year level

THE Manila Electric Company (Meralco) expects to surpass last year’s core income of P24.6 billion after posting P19.6 billion from January to September this year.

“Despite the challenges the country is currently facing, including elevated food and energy prices, Meralco expects power demand to continue growing, which makes the energy sector maintain its critical role in supporting economic growth and progress. 

“As we anticipate robust pandemic recovery efforts, there is good indication that Meralco will surpass our 2021 CCNI (Consolidated Core Net Income),” Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

CCNI for the nine months ending September 2022 rose by 9 percent to P19.6 billion from P18.1 billion in the same period last year with the sustained growth in energy sales and higher earnings of its power generation business from projects both locally and in Singapore. 

Reported net income, meanwhile, increased by 20 percent to P19.8 billion from P16.5 billion in 2021. 

Consolidated revenues stood at P314.9 billion, 36 percent higher than from P231.7 billion, mainly due to higher pass-through charges on account of persisting increases in global fuel prices.

Meralco’s average retail rate increased by 17 percent to P9.43 per kWh from P8.08 per kWh as generation charges, which accounted for about 65 percent of the total retail rate, went up by 32 percent due to higher fuel costs, peso depreciation and higher spot market prices. 

Meralco’s consolidated capital expenditures amounted to P20.8 billion, of which P13.5 billion went to Networks CAPEX, which consisted of new connections, asset renewals, and load growth projects, among others.

Operating expenses (OPEX), meanwhile, went up by 10 percent to P24.9 billion due to higher customer-related expenses and increase in spending of subsidiaries. 

Consolidated energy sales surpassed prepandemic levels. Meralco’s year-to-date consolidated distribution utility energy sales volumes increased by 6 percent to 36,553 GWh from 34,398 GWh in the same nine months last year. 

Sales mix continued to shift towards the commercial segment, whose share to total sales increased to 35 percent from 33 percent a year ago. Residential accounted for 35 percent from 37 percent, while industrial segment’s contribution was retained at 30 percent. 

“Surpassing prepandemic levels in our consolidated sales volumes signifies that demand for power, particularly from the commercial segment, will continue to grow as we recover and move forward from the pandemic,” Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa said.

“However, we recognize that elevated fuel prices coupled with the depreciation of the Peso, which is already nearing Pesos 60 to a dollar, continued to put upward pressure on Meralco’s retail rates. While we seek ways to cushion the impact of these challenges, our customers can expect that Meralco will continue to energize more households and more businesses, while powering our economy with stable, reliable, and cost-competitive electricity,” Espinosa added.

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