Maynilad, Meralco lift MPIC Q1 income by 15%

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Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), led by business mogul Manuel Pangilinan, on Wednesday reported consolidated core net income of P2.2 billion for the quarter ended March,

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up 15 percent over the P1.9 billion posted a year earlier.

The improvement in the listed group’s core net income was due mainly to earnings growth at Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad) and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) because of higher water and energy volumes sold.

It was also due to growth at Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) arising from traffic growth and increased shareholding in Manila North Tollways Corp., as well as strong organic growth in new investments in the hospital group.

Maynilad accounted for P1.0 billion or 40 percent of the aggregate contribution to the company’s net operating income. Meralco contributed P900 million or 33 percent of the total, while MPTC delivered P600 million or 21 percent. The hospital group contributed P169 million or 6 percent of the total.

“All our businesses achieved growth in profitability for the first quarter, helped in large measure by debt refinancings last year,” said Jose Maria Lim, MPIC president and chief executive officer.

During the first three months of the year, Maynilad entered into arbitration over rate-setting for the regulatory period beginning 1st January 2013, while Meralco faced challenges over higher charges imposed by power plant operators.

The toll roads business of the group experienced delays in scheduled toll adjustments, with the handover of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway now nearly four years pending.

“Regulatory uncertainties in respect of certain core subsidiaries mean that we are not, for now, providing earnings guidance for the full year,” Pangilinan said.

However, Lim said the group still anticipates continued volume growth for the rest of 2014.

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