THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is expecting to post 'slightly better' financial results for the nine-month period to September 2018, mainly on account of higher energy sales.
'We expect slightly better results because of the volume,' Meralco President Oscar Reyes said, referring to the profit and revenue from January to September this year.
'I think we are expecting a slight improvement in our income because volumes for this year are better than last year, particularly because of the first three months, which were very strong. But the volume started to soften particularly in August, which grew only by half a percent compared to August 2017. In September, growth was 2.5 percent,' Reyes said.
Meralco is expected to release its nine-month financial performance on October 29.
Reyes said Meralco recorded a 'little over 4.5-percent' growth in electricity sales from January to September this year.
In the same period last year, Meralco posted a core income of P15.37 billion and a net income of P15.928 billion. Sales volume was higher at 4 percent to 31,401 gigawatt hours.
Meralco has pending applications for seven power-supply agreements (PSAs) filed before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Reyes expressed optimism the PSA applications would be resolved soon by the commission after two of its commissioners-Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit and Geronimo Sta. Ana-who were suspended for 90 days, returned to work last October 10.
Malacañang also recently appointed renewable-energy advocate Catherine Maceda and Alexis Lumbatan as ERC commissioners. They replaced two former commissioners who reached retirement age.
'We hope to be able to meet with the commissioners. We're scheduling a courtesy call,' said Reyes.
Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan had said 2018 is going to be 'a better year than 2017.'
'So far, apart from economic conditions, there's no reason why Meralco should not perform better,' Pangilinan had said.
Pangilinan noted that during the second half of the year, the economy continues to expand, boosted by strong consumer spending and the growth in the service industry, and even the industrial sectors. Also, the ramping up of government infrastructure projects is expected to further lift the country's growth prospects.
'Consumer wallets continue to expand as money sent home by overseas Filipinos continues to grow, as well as from employment generated by BPOs and POGOs. These have continued to drive the growth of commercial and residential energy sales volumes. However, economic headwinds from higher fuel and commodity prices, higher exchange and interest rates, and inflation remind us to remain vigilant and cautious about our own growth targets, investments and spending,' he said.
The utility firm also registered 6.5 million customers by end-June, almost 5 percent higher, as new connections across all customer classes increased by 294,000 year-on-year.
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