The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) expects electricity sales to grow by “close to 6 percent” this year compared to last year, buoyed by the strong recovery of various economic sectors.
“We are looking at close to 6-percent gigawatt [GWh] sales growth for the year 2022 compared to 2021, and this actually also 4 percent higher than 2019 numbers,” said Meralco Chief Commercial Officer Ferdinand Geluz.
He said the main drivers of the projected growth could be attributed to the strong commercial segment. “The rebound of the strong commercial segment as well as modest growth in industrial sector driven by some industries such as plant, F&B [food and beverage] really gave a boost.”
The utility firm earlier reported that as of end-September this year, sales volumes increased by 6 percent to 36,553 GWh from 34,398 GWh in the same period last year.
Sales mix continued to shift towards the commercial segment, whose share in total sales rose 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.
Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa said surpassing pre-pandemic levels would mean that demand for power, particularly from the commercial segment, will continue to grow as Meralco recovers and move forward from the pandemic.
The utility firm is also expecting to surpass last year’s core income of P24.6 billion after it posted P19.6 billion from January to September.
“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 January to September 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, went up 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.