MANILA—The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) had a reasonably favorable 2016, its president and chief operating officer, Oscar Reyes, has said.
Meralco reported that its audited consolidated core net income last year amounted to PHP19.6 billion, 4 percent higher than in 2015. By the end of the year, consolidated reported net income amounted to PHP19.2 billion. Core earnings per share for 2016 reached PHP17.37, while reported earnings per share was PHP17.01.
The company attributed strong energy sales volumes to the combined effect of warm weather during the first five months of 2016 brought about by the El Niño weather phenomenon, low retail electricity prices throughout the year, minimal plant outages, Meralco’s robust distribution network, and enhanced service levels and customer-centric operations, supporting the growth in consolidated energy sales volumes, which reached 40,142 GWh in 2016, compared to 37,124GWh in 2015.
”2016 in a sense was perfect weather. The economy was buoyant and strong. We had much warm temperature, particularly in the first five months of that year. There was low inflation, low interest rates, so it was favorable for consumers and at the same time, we saw remittances from overseas Filipino workers and revenues from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies continued to increase, which provided a strong basis for consumer spending,” Reyes told reporters during a recent briefing at the Meralco head office in Ortigas.
Meralco’s board of directors also approved a final cash dividend of PHP9.30 per share to all shareholders as of March 27, payable on April 21. This consists of a final regular cash dividend of PHP4.08 per share and a special cash dividend of PHP5.22 per share. The final cash dividend, which in addition to the interim dividend of PHP4.61 per share declared on July 25, 2016 and paid on Sept. 19, 2016, brings total cash dividends to PHP13.91 per share. These represent a 50 percent regular dividend payout of PHP8.69 per share and a 30 percent special dividend payout of 5.22 per share for a total payout of 80 percent of the company’s 2016 consolidated core net income.
Meralco also reported that it incurred the lowest system loss at 6.35 percent for 2016, which translates to PHP26.9 billion in savings to Meralco customers or PHP0.09 per kWh since 2008.
Meralco chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, indicated that the board and management were quite pleased with the company’s performance in 2016. He however noted that there are challenges facing the company.
“Looming ahead would be some potential threats from solar energy, distributed grids, electric vehicles that one has got to deal with but those are in the mind of both the board and of management that we have to prepare for in the future,” Pangilinan said.
Reyes reiterated that the company’s position is to be an energy solutions provider.
”In the end, I have always maintained that the customer is really king and they are our reason for existing and we have to be very sensitive to what they need,” he said.