Metro Pacific sets Php79-B capex this year; nets Php12.1B in 2016

MANILA-- Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has doubled its capital expenditure (capex) to Php 79 billion in 2017 to expand its businesses after its profit surged 17 percent last year.

Its consolidated core net income reached Php 12.1 billion in 2016 from Php 10.3 billion the previous year on the back of strong growth of all its operations.

MPIC chief finance officer David Nicol told reporters that of this year's capital spending, Php 23.24 billion will be earmarked for its tollroad unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), Php 22 billion for power unit Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and Php 13 billion for water utility firm Maynilad.

Nicol said the remaining Php 20.76 billion will be allotted for hospital business and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 operations.

Since the hand-over of LRT-1 in September 2015, Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) has successfully restored 23 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), bringing the total available to 100 by end of December 2016.

MPIC's group-wide capital expenditure in 2016 was Php 40.5 billion.

MPIC reported that its core net income in 2016 was lifted by its power distribution and generation business accounting for Php 7.2 billion, or 48 percent of the aggregate contribution.

Water (distribution, production and sewerage treatment) contributed Php 3.6 billion or 24 percent of the total; tollroads shared Php 3.5 billion or 23 percent of the total; the Hospital Group contributed Php 589 million or 4 percent of the total; and the Rail, Logistics and Systems Group accounted Php 234 million or 1 percent of the total.

Meralco's core net income rose 4 percent to Php 19.6 billion last year mainly due to higher electricity consumption and interest income.

Global Power, in which MPIC holds an effective stake of 47.8 percent, recorded core net income for 2016 of Php 2.8 billion.

Its water segment's contribution to core net income amounted to Php 3.6 billion last year attributable substantially to Maynilad.

Together, Maynilad and MetroPac Water Investments Corp. (MWIC) currently provide water services to a total of 1,437,223 water connections across the Philippines.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. recorded core profit of PHP3.3 billion in 2016, or 27 percent higher than the PHP2.6 billion recorded a year earlier.

Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc.'s (MPHHI) aggregate core net income surged 34 percent to Php 1.8 billion in 2016, attributable mainly to the contribution from new hospital acquisitions.

LRMC contributed Php 278 million to MPIC's core income in 2016, reflecting increased ridership as a result of the rehabilitation of LRVs together with operating cost savings and deferred capital spending.

Core income for MetroPac Movers, Inc. (MMI) amounted to PHP66 million in 2016.

MPIC, through MMI, invested Php 2.2 billion to acquire the business and assets of a group of logistics service providers, including Basic Logistics, Inc., in May 2016.

"The strong results for 2016 reflect our continuing expansion of investment, steady improvements in service levels and some financing efficiencies for our operating companies," said MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

"The overwhelming demand for the services we provide, against the backdrop of strong economic growth, underpins our outlook for 2017," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency