Strong growth in tollroad, power businesses buoy MPIC core earnings

Bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) continued to benefit from the continued easing of Covid-19 restrictions as core earnings grew nearly a quarter in the first half of the year to P7.5 billion.

The robust growth was largely driven by a strong recovery in toll road traffic and higher electricity demand as more industries ramped up operating capacity with the lifting of strict restriction measures.

It was also attributed to prudential management of cash flows which saw the reduction of average interest rates on borrowings. The company’s strategic rerating and refinancing of expensive debt facilities resulted in a 12 percent decline in net interest costs during the period.

“While we are growing our sales and core profitability, we remain grounded by our north star – to contribute to national progress and improve the lives of Filipinos. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of other potential growth areas, particularly in agriculture, tourism, and logistics, but we are still mindful of the crucial role that MPIC plays in Philippine infrastructure and enabling the progress that our government envisions.

I am hopeful that the positive tone toward infrastructure investment set by the new administration will lead to accelerating development for our country,” said Pangilinan, MPIC chairman.

MPIC’s reported net income, however, dropped nine percent to P9.5 billion versus the year ago figure which was boosted by gains from the sale of Global Business and Don Muang Tollways.

For the second quarter, MPIC’s total core net income jumped 38 percent to ₱4.3 billion, largely due to higher contributions from power utility giant Manila Electric Co. and west zone water concessionaire Maynilad Services Inc.

Metro Pacific Tollways grew its first semester core earnings by 33 percent to P2.5 billion as revenues expanded by 26 percent to P10.5 billion on record high traffic growth and toll increases implemented in the latter part of 2021 to the first half.
Maynilad reported a one percent drop in core net income to P3 billion due to higher concession amortization from completed capital expenditures.

The group’s healthcare arm Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. which has 19 hospitals, six provincial cancer radiotherapy centers, two healthcare colleges and one central laboratory under its wing, saw a 48 percent decline in core profit to P370 million owing to higher personnel costs with additional headcount.

Light Rail Manila Corp., which operates the 20-station LRT-1 incurred a P329 million core net loss due to the start of amortization of concession assets and borrowing costs. The loss was recorded despite a 41 percent jump in revenues to P767 million on the back of a 52 percent hike in average daily ridership to 185,012.

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