Feb 282013

MANILA, Philippines – Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), fresh from beating its full-year core earnings guidance, expects another banner year amid continuous economic growth.

Core net income, which strips out currency and derivatives-related items, jumped 30 percent to P1.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

This allowed MPIC to post a 28-percent uptick in core profit to P6.5 billion in 2012 from P5.1 billion in 2011. It is also higher than the company’s P6.3-billion core profit guidance.

“The strong results for 2012 reflect significant improvements in service levels and efficiency gains for all our operating companies,” MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a briefing.

“It is likely that the 2013 results will be better than the 2012,” Pangilinan said, adding that the outlook is encouraging given optimistic views on the Philippine economy.

In the fourth quarter, profits were driven by strong water, power distribution, toll roads and hospitals businesses, MPIC chief finance officer David J. Nicol said.

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For the entire year, consolidated net income rose to P6.4 billion from P5.1 billion a year ago. This reflects a P142-million non-recurring net loss.

MPIC president and CEO Jose Ma. K. Lim said the increase in core net income was due mainly to higher profit contributions from Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), higher rates for Maynilad Water Services Inc., traffic growth at Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) and investments from the hospital group.

In terms of contribution to MPIC’s net operating income, Maynilad accounted for P3.6 billion or 46 percent, followed by P2.2 billion or 28 percent from Meralco, P1.6 billion or 20 percent from MPTC and P507 million or six percent from the hospital group.

“All our businesses achieved robust growth in 2012,” Lim said.

The MPIC board of directors declared a cash dividend of two centavos per share, representing a 33-percent increase from the 2011 final dividend. Hence, full-year dividend stood at 3.20 centavos per share.

The infrastructure conglomerate is jacking up its capital spending by a third to P36.3 billion this year to support expansion plans of its operating units.

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