• Manila Water eyes P10-B profit by 2018

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    MANILA Water Co. Inc. wants to raise its net profit to up to P10 billion by 2018 from P5.7 billion in 2013 on the back of continuing expansion of its operations outside Metro Manila and as its units strengthen their foothold in their respective service areas.

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    President and chief executive officer Gerardo Ablaza, Jr. told the media Friday that the consistent increase in Manila Water’s earnings was due mainly to sustained operations and coverage expansion of its domestic subsidiaries, as well as its units in Vietnam.

    He said the company has earmarked P60 billion for capital expenditures over the next five years, and it is now looking for areas outside Metro Manila where it can obtain water supply rights, particularly in locations with a population size of more than 500,000.

    “From a strategic point of view, our focus is to prioritize the development of areas outside Metro Manila. These are areas with a population of over half a million,” he said, citing the economic viability of this population size for bulk water service.

    Ablaza also said that Manila Water can take on non-revenue water reduction projects in areas that already have water service providers.

    Besides serving the east zone concession of state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water has expanded its operations in Laguna, Boracay, Pampanga and Cebu, as well as in Vietnam.

    The water service provider is also pursuing expansion opportunities in Indonesia and Myanmar. Manila Water has been pre-qualified to bid for a bulk water supply project in Bandar, Lamping under a public-private partnership. This come after its failed bid last year to acquire half of Indonesian water concessionaire PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja).

    “Indonesia remains a market of high interest to us even if we were not able to complete our acquisition of a major stake in Palyja,” said Ablaza.

    He said the company is now looking for opportunities outside Jakarta, especially because about 150 cities and municipalities in Indonesia need water service solutions.

    The company is also eyeing a non-revenue water project in Myanmar in partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation.

    Manila Water has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) for the development of a proposed non-revenue water reduction project for the city.

    Ablaza said the company is now assembling a team that will conduct a feasibility study for the two-year project in Yangon City.

    “They have an existing water system that needs improvement,” he said.

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