Listed power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) expects sales volume growth to hit 4.5 percent this year instead of the “slightly above” 4.5 percent projection made by its president in October.
Meralco President Oscar Reyes attributed the reduced sales forecast to high base effects over the past two years and factors such as increased energy efficiency and the use of rooftop solar facilities.
“Of course, there are new things as customers are able to save because of these trends or changes. It also puts more disposable income into their pockets and there is demand for other things,” Reyes said at the sidelines of a Meralco technology and innovation summit (on Friday.
In 2016, the utility saw sales volume grow by 8.1 percent to 39,583 gigawatt-hours (GWh).
Reyes had already said in October that the utility may not be able to reach overall sales volume growth of five percent because “the first quarter was very soft.”
For the first nine months, “we’re about 4.4 percent over last year,” he said.
“We are hoping the fourth quarter will be healthy” as volume sales in the second quarter gained “a bit of momentum.”
Meralco, the country’s biggest power distribution utility, holds the largest market capitalization among listed utility and power sector companies in the country.
Established in 1919, the firm’s units are in the business in engineering and consulting, construction, bills payments, and other electricity-related services.
Shares of Meralco dropped P4.00 or 1.24 to end at P319 on Friday.