MPIC net profit jumps 20% to P11.5B

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INFRASTRUCTURE conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) boosted its net income by 20 percent to P11.5 billion in 2016, while core net income improved by 17 percent to P12.1 billion, driven by strong growth across all of its operations.

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The company also announced that it nearly doubled its capital expenditure (capex) budget for this year to P79 billion from the actual spending of P40.5 billion in 2016 given the robust expansion program of its subsidiaries and the Duterte administration’s push for infrastructure.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), MPIC said core net income was boosted by robust traffic growth on toll roads under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC); expanded power portfolio through increased investments ion Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc. and Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC); continuing growth in the hospital group; the first full year contribution from Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC); and its profitable entry into the logistics sector.

Consolidated revenues rose 20 percent to P44.8 billion, with power contributing 48 percent of revenues; water, 24 percent; toll roads, 23 percent; the hospital group, 4 percent; and the rail, logistics, and systems group, 1 percent.

“We invested over P40.5 billion in capex for our infrastructure development in 2016,” MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said. “In addition, our level of investment in new and existing businesses totaled to P32.7 billion. In aggregate therefore, our capex and investments for 2016 recorded an unprecedented level of P73.2 billion.”

“The strong results for 2016 reflect our continuing expansion of investment, steady improvements in service levels and some financing efficiencies for our operating companies,” he said.

David Nicol, MPIC chief financial officer, said during a briefing on Wednesday that P13 billion of the P79 billion capex for 2017 will be budgeted for Maynilad Water Services Inc., about P23 billion to P24 billion for MPTC, P22 billion for Manila Electric Company (Meralco), while the balance will be for the hospital group and the development and operational costs of LRMC, the operator of LRT Line 1.

Nicol said the Maynilad and Meralco capex will be funded by internally generated cash and resources, while the tollroads will need some “borrowing and recycling of assets.”

As a part of its expansion, hospital unit Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI) is planning to add up to 30 hospitals nationwide in 10 years, on top of the continuous growth of its Megaclinic network.

The group also plans to add 800 buses to its current network of 80 point-to-point buses in the next few months.

For its participation in public-private partnership (PPP) projects of the government, MPIC said it is searching for a new foreign partner to bid for the unbundled regional airport PPP projects as its former partner Aeroports de Paris has pulled out of the venture.

MPIC said it is “still interested” in the PPP regional airport projects but only for the Davao and Iloilo airports.

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 (Beacon Electric, GBPC and Meralco), healthcare services (MPHHI), and railway, logistics and ticketing (LRMC and MetroPac Movers Inc.).

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