By James A.Loyola
Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) reported a 7 percent rise in consolidated core net income to P15.1 billion last year from P14.1 billion in 2017 on the back of strong growth posted by its subsidiaries.
In a press briefing, MPIC President Jose Ma. K. Lim said core net income was lifted mainly by an expanded power portfolio following further investment in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc. in 2017.
Earnings were also boosted by continuing traffic growth on all domestic roads and steady volume growth coupled with inflation-linked tariff increases at Maynilad Water Service, Inc.
“Our earnings growth reflects meaningful volume increases for all our businesses, supported by years of high investment and our continuing emphasis on operational efficiencies,” said Lim.
Power accounted for P10.8 billion or 55 percent of net operating income; tollroads contributed P4.4 billion or 23 percent; water contributed P3.8 billion or 19 percent; the Hospitals Group provided P771 million or 4 percent; and the Rail, Logistics and Systems Group had a net loss of P248 million.
Consolidated reported net income attributable to owners of the parent company rose 7 percent to P14.1 billion in 2018.
Non-recurring expense amounted to P930 million primarily due to the net effect of a weaker peso, project write-downs, loan refinancing and provisions for asset impairment, compared with non-recurring expenses of P953 million in 2017.
“I expect continued strong volume growth for 2019. Whilst additional financing costs will slow down profit growth, it is early in the year to gauge how our operating companies are likely to perform – thus for now we are not able to give an earnings guidance for 2019,” said Lim.
MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said “we are pleased with the performance of MPIC companies for 2018. We are seeing partial resolution of some of our long-pending tariff issues. That’s the good news.”
He noted though that, “regrettably, the shape of the resolution in the form of staggered tariff increases and concession extensions does not provide sufficient immediate cash flows to cover the upfront financing costs of our current expansion program.”
“Continuing strong demand for the services we provide, against a backdrop of steady economic growth, underpins our optimism for 2019… Our focus over the medium term is to build out the many new infrastructure assets we are working on in roads, water, light rail, energy and logistics in order to deliver value to our shareholders,” Pangilinan said.