The core net income of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) climbed by 15-percent to P18.062 billion in the nine-month period from P15.727 billion in the same period last year with the return of demand from the industrial sector.

The company also reported that its net income surged by 47-percent to P16.522 billion from the year-ago level of P11.252 billion, according to Meralco Chief Finance Officer Betty Siy-Yap.

Within the January-September stretch, Yap similarly noted that the utility firm’s earnings per share improved by 47-percent to P14.658 per share from the year-ago level of P9.983 per share.

Given the upturn in profitability in the three quarters, Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan indicated that “our financial results through September are encouraging, and there is indication that we will exceed consolidated core net income last year.”

Meralco’s full-year earnings in 2020 stood at P21.71 billion – and that was considerably lean because the impact of the coronavirus pandemic extremely hit the company’s energy sales last year – especially when tough lockdowns were enforced in the second quarter.

Nevertheless, Pangilinan qualified that “the significant rise in fuel prices across the board – gas, coal and oil – which can impact generation margins as well as the lingering effect of the pandemic remain key risks to our outlook for the fourth quarter.”

Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa reported that energy sales of the company expanded by 6.0-percent to 34,398 gigawatt-hours (GWh), driven mainly by brisk sales in the industrial sector, which grew 17 percent to return to 2019 levels.

He specified that sales to residential and commercial sub-segments have been relatively steady at the growth scale of 2.0-percent; while Meralco’s customer-count had likewise grown 4.0-percent, energizing at least 7.351 million subscribers to-date.

Espinosa highlighted that “over the past months, Meralco had been called to provide continued quality service under unprecedented situations.”

He narrated that “we have seen and heard first hand the plight of our customers who have been economically challenged by the pandemic, and we took it upon ourselves to respond with the kind of service they need now – consistent and reliable, but most of all, driven by humanity and compassion.”

It is worth noting that for several times, Meralco had suspended its service disconnection activities — during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ restrictions — so it can give financially hard-up customers leeway in settling their bills.

And for those who have lost employments or had to suffer drastic reduced incomes, Meralco is also extending utmost consideration to these customers as long as they will make arrangement with the utility firm’s business centers on ‘flexible payments’ for their arrears.

Source: Manila Bulletin (