2016 seen as ‘record’ year
LISTED infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) reported on Tuesday a 13 percent increase in its January to September profit, boosted by contributions from new power and railway projects and continued growth in its hospital group and toll road businesses.
MPIC’s core net income went up to P9.3 billion in the first nine months from P8.2 billion a year ago, while consolidated revenues climbed 23 percent to P33.1 billion from P27 billion a year ago.
It said core profit was boosted by robust traffic growth on toll roads, its expanded power portfolio through its 56 percent stake investment in Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), the earnings contribution of Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT), and continued growth in the hospital group.
However, it reported lower profits from distribution utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and water business Maynilad Water Services Inc.
“Our continuing earnings growth reflects significant volume increases for all our businesses together with our intense focus on operational efficiencies which have been achieved as a result of years of elevated capital expenditures,” said Jose Ma. K. Lim, MPIC president and chief executive officer.
Maynilad’s income fell to P2.7 billion from P7.2 billion a year ago, which Lim blamed on overdue tariff increases which still have to be resolved.
“Discussions with the new administration on resolving some of our overdue tariff increases are ongoing. I am hopeful we will have more to report soon,” he said.
With the strong nine-month performance, MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the group is raising its core net income expectations this year to P11.7 billion from the previously announced P11.5 billion.
David Nicol, MPIC chief financial officer, said in a briefing that the improved guidance is due to the satisfactory outcome of the acquisition of GBPC interests as well as increased volumes across business segments.
“We have a reasonably good quarter. We would like to risk the guidance a bit. We’re satisfied with the post acquisition of Global Power, and volume is very good,” Nicol said.
Meralco posted a 5 percent drop in profits to P15 billion on lower distribution tariffs and the absence of generation and transmission recoveries which were present in its income last year.
Meanwhile, MPIC recorded P1.9 billion equity income contributions from GBPC following its additional investment in the power firm, which grew its net income by 46 percent to P5.7 billion in the first nine months.
The group’s toll roads segment via Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. observed 20 percent growth in core net income to P2 billion in the nine months on robust traffic, cost controls and new contributions from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and CII Bridges and Roads Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII B&R) of Vietnam.
MPTC holds MPIC’s concessions for domestic tollways systems such as the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) and SCTEX, as well as foreign toll roads CII B&R in Vietnam and Don Muang Tollway Public Company Ltd. in Thailand.
Its hospital business through Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI) grew its core net income by 41 percent to P1.33 billion on hospital acquisitions and the strong performance of its existing portfolio.
Through MPIC’s 55 percent equity share in Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), it realized core net income of P424 million from the LRT 1 extension, operation and maintenance project under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Incorporated in 2006, MPIC holds businessman Manny V. Pangilinan’s investments in water utilities (Maynilad), toll roads (MPTC and Manila North Tollways Corp.), power and electricity distribution (GBPC and Meralco), healthcare services (MHHI), and railway and ticketing (LRMC).