Meralco kumita ng P9-B sa unang anim na buwan

MANILA Electric Co., the country’s biggest power retailer,  posted a net profit of P9 billion in the first six months of the year.

The profit registered a 15 percent increase from P7.8 billion year-on-year, on higher sales and reimbursement of a franchise tax.

Consolidated reported net income in the first half jumped to P9.8 billion, up 60 percent from P6 billion on year.

Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan attributed the higher core net income to the recovery of P2.3 billion in local franchise tax from 1993 to 2004, including carrying costs.

In addition, an investment gain of P769 million from Rockwell Land Corp. also contributed to the higher bottom line.

Meralco president Oscar Reyes said Meralco was looking at opportunities overseas, including investments in power distribution and transmission.

He said Meralco might initially look at technical assistance on projects overseas before finalizing investments.

“We are seeing exciting opportunities within and even outside the Philippines. We will venture into a project if we are able to robustly deliver highly cost-competitive power and high service reliability assurance to our customers and acceptable returns to our shareholders,” Reyes said.

Total electricity sales volume stood at 16,215 gigawatthours in the first half, up 10 percent on year.

Meralco said a more robust domestic economy largely unaffected by the Eurozone woes, increased household purchasing power as a result of lower inflation, and slightly warmer temperatures combined to fuel the surge in demand in the first half.

A higher-than-expected volume growth across all customer classes and the increased number of new customer connections also offset lower power rates.

Meralco  is  set  to revise its full-year profit target to P15.5 billion this year from P15 billion given the strong first-half performance.

“Given our first half results and the positive outlook for the second half, we are prepared to raise our full year 2012 core net income guidance to P15.5 billion,” Pangilinan said.



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