Sep 192016

MANILA, Philippines – Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) sees no need to adjust its P19-billion full-year income forecast even as second half of the year is expected to be slower compared to the previous half, the company’s top official said.

Meralco president and CEO Oscar Reyes said they are retaining the P19-billion profit guidance for this year even as the second semester is expected to be weaker in the absence of warmer temperature.

“(The second half) will not be as strong as the first half especially during the summer months because we will not feel the effect of [higher] temperature,” he said.

However, Reyes said growth will continue to be driven by customer base expansion and economic growth.

“I think the impact of the real growth and the fact that in the case of residential, verticals and horizontals are there and [continue to] increase in numbers. You’ve got an expanding customer base and then commercial sector seems to continue to be busy,” he said.

Earlier, Meralco officials said this year’s performance is expected to be in the vicinity of 2015’s results because of the lower average distribution rate.

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Last year, core net income went up four percent to P18.89 billion.

Meralco has reported an income of P10.4 billion in the first half of the year, lower by 11 percent compared to P11.8 billion a year earlier, due the absence of one-off recovery gains and lower distribution tariff.

For the whole year, Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said energy sales are expected to grow between six and seven percent. In 2015, energy sales rose 5.6 percent to 37,124 gigawatt-hours (gwh) from 35,160 gwh.

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