Lopez-led First Gen Corporation was considerably in auspicious state last year on its financial performance, as its earnings had just declined by marginal 7.0-percent to P13.7 billion (US$276 million) from P15.4 billion (US$296 million) in 2019.

“The company managed the challenges that arose during the year by having a highly contracted portfolio,” the Lopez firm said.

First Gen said it somehow carried on with lower operating expenses, interest expenses and had incurred foreign exchange gains.

It is worth noting that many players in the power generation sector logged massive losses last year because of the pandemic-induced downtrend in power demand. But so far, it appears that the Lopez-owned company was able to significantly buck the odds.

First Gen President and COO Francis Giles B. Puno stated that while the company “was marginally affected by the decline in power demand resulting from the pandemic, we are still looking forward to a better 2021.”

He added “not only do we expect the country to climb its way to recovery, but we are also preparing for this by, among other things, commencing the construction of the country’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal next month, which puts the company in a good position for expanding its gas portfolio especially after the recent DOE (Department of Energy) coal moratorium.”

In terms of revenues, the Lopez firm posted 15-percent downtrend to P91.2 billion last year, an equivalent reduction of P20.6 billion from P111.8 billion the year before.

The company emphasized that all of its platforms “were affected by the decline in demand brought about by the pandemic that resulted in lower prices.”

Primarily for its gas-fired facilities, the company indicated that there was a 7.0-percent downtrend on earnings last year – turning in P9.3 billion (US$187 million) versus P10.4 billion (US$201 million) in 2019.

On a recurring attributable net income to parent firm, the Lopez firm indicated that its gas assets brought in P9.2 billion (US$184 million) last year as against P10.1 billion (US$194 million) in 2019.

The contributing factors to the income decline had been the unplanned outage of its 420-megawatt San Gabriel gas-fired power plant since September 2020; as well as higher income taxes due to the expiration of its income tax holiday (ITH) privileges as of end-March 2020.

Further, the firm emphasized that its merchant 100MW Avion plant “was affected by low spot market prices,” although that was noted to have been offset by the earnings of subsidiary Energy Development Corporation (EDC) on an ancillary service contract that had been effective since June 2020.

In particular, it was noted that EDC’s income had been up by 5.0-percent to P5.3 billion (US$106 million) in 2020 versus a leaner P5.2 billion (US$101 million) in the prior year.

“EDC was able to save on operating expenses in contrast to several one-time expenses that occurred in 2019 due to the company’s reorganization,” the Lopez firm said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/18/first-gen-posts-marginal-7-income-decline-to-p13-7-b-in-2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=first-gen-posts-marginal-7-income-decline-to-p13-7-b-in-2020)