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Metro Pacific posts 38% surge in core net income

MPIC Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) reported on Wednesday a consolidated core net income of P4.3 billion in the first quarter, up 38% from a year ago, after its business holdings recorded better results.

“Our strong performance for the first quarter reflects significant volume increases for our power, toll roads, water and healthcare businesses, bolstered by favorable tariff adjustments and savings resulting from operational efficiencies,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, MPIC president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

In contrast, its attributable net income for the three-month period fell by 12% to P5 billion from P5.7 billion previously, as the previous year benefited from gains in acquiring Landco Pacific Corp.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) contributed P4.2 billion or 75% of MPIC’s net operating income for the quarter, followed by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. with a share of P1.3 billion or 23%, and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. with P1.1 billion or 19%.

MPIC’s other businesses — light rail, healthcare, agribusiness, real estate, and fuel storage — incurred a total net loss of P967 million.

Meralco’s consolidated core net income for the quarter increased by 40% to P9 billion due to significant growth in its power generation business. Total revenues increased by 23% to P105.6 billion due to higher pass-through power generation charges, higher generation revenues and growth in sold electricity volumes.

MPIC’s toll roads business saw a 3% increase in core net income for the period due to higher concession amortization on newly opened roads and the financing cost on the acquisition of the Jakarta-Cikampek Elevated toll road. The business segment’s top line grew by 32% to P6.4 billion due to high traffic growth and toll increases in the country and Indonesia.

Maynilad reported a 57% increase in core net income for the quarter to 2.1 billion, driven by lower amortizations, while revenues grew by 18% to P6.2 billion.

LRT-1 operator Light Rail Manila Corp. incurred a net loss of P83 million, shrinking by 53% from a year ago, due to amortization of concession assets and increased borrowing costs. Its revenues, however, increased by 73% to P595 million.

MPIC’s healthcare unit more than doubled its core net income to P469 million, while its revenues jumped by 21% to P5.6 billion, driven by an increase in the number of patients.

“Improved financial and operating results at MPIC’s holdings delivered a 30% increase in contribution from operations, mainly driven by the strong performance of the power generation business and higher billed volumes from the water concession,” the company said.

NO CHANGES IN DOING BUSINESS AFTER DELISTINGMeanwhile, MPIC expects no changes in how it conducts its business should its plan to delist from the stock exchange push through, company officials said.

“We will run MPIC as if it was publicly listed. We will maintain the same board, governance, and maintain the board committees. We will also be publishing out integrated reports [of] our sustainability initiative,” said June Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla, MPIC executive vice-president, chief finance officer, chief sustainability officer, and chief risk officer, said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

The company announced on Thursday last week its plan to delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) after a consortium of companies — First Pacific Co. Ltd., GT Capital Holdings, Inc., and Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. Ltd. — announced a tender offer to buy out the stake of minority shareholders.

The group’s offer to minority shareholders, who own a combined 36.6%, is at P4.63 per share, representing a 22% premium over the one-year volume-weighted average price of MPIC’s common shares.

MPIC said its board of directors received the tender offer notice and approved the filing of an application to voluntarily delist from the PSE. The final decision to delist will be conducted through voting by shareholders during the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 6.

“It’s important that despite our character being private, the principle of governance and sustainability should still apply. So, we will maintain an independent board as much as possible,” Mr. Pangilinan said.

“We still print annual reports despite being private, our sustainability report will be there. We will conduct our affairs as if we were listed,” he added.

On Wednesday, shares in MPIC went up by 0.23% or a centavo to P4.42 apiece.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Adrian H. Halili

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