The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) likely registered a 2-percent increase in energy sales growth in April, buoyed by the continued recovery of business operations and resumption of social activities.
“Our April sales are actually ahead of the 2 percent, slightly above 2 percent. We’d like to see that further improve in the months ahead,” said Meralco head of investor relations Randwil Dinbo Macaranas last week.
At the end of the first quarter, Meralco energy sales slightly went up by 2 percent to 11,287 gigawatt-hours (GWh). From January to March, the commercial segment delivered an 11 percent sales increase while residential and industrial segments declined by 3 percent each. The share of the commercial segment climbed to 37 percent while that of residential and industrial declined to 33 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Meralco is hoping that sales growth for the year will improve further with increase in mobility. “Although we did end the first quarter at 2 percent, we’d like to improve that for the rest of the year.”
Macaranas said the warm weather would boost residential energy sales.
“With warmer temperature, as it gets hotter, families and households tend to use more air conditioners. So, they prioritize comfort. Hopefully, that helps pump up the residential segment from a decline of 3 percent.”
Energy sales in the commercial sector are also expected to improve as demand continues to return to prepandemic levels.
“For industrial, it’s a little bit more unpredictable given that the impact is really or the decline in particular for the first quarter is largely because of economic headwinds, inflation.
Overall, hopefully it improves in the second half of the year as the year progresses. We’re still quite positive that we can still reach that 4 percent in growth,” Macaranas said.
Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa said earlier that the growth in energy sales volume, particularly the strong performance of the commercial segment, signifies that public confidence has returned and demand for power will certainly continue to increase. With this, the utility firm said it will pursue strategic energy sourcing activities for its medium- and long-term requirements.
Meralco’s net income in the first quarter grew to P8.07 billion while core net income surged by 40 percent to P9 billion.
“Meralco’s operational and financial performance in this first quarter indicate that we are off to a good start,” Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.