Lopez Holdings Q1 profit soars 192% to P2.63B

Posted at 05/16/12 11:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Lopez Holdings Corp. posted a P2.634 billion in net income in the first quarter of 2012, 192% higher than the P902 million net income during the same period last year.

The company attributed this to a 826% year-on-year rise in equity in net earnings of associates to P2.417 billion from P261 million, after associate First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) sold a 2.66% stake in Meralco in January.

Unaudited consolidated revenues rose by 8% year-on-year to P7.149 billion, as ABS-CBN Corporation (ABS-CBN), which led national primetime TV ratings in the first 3 months of the year, implemented higher advertising rates starting February.

"Outside of election-related spending, we have not seen any significant expansion in Philippine ad spend for many years. This is why it was important for ABS-CBN to develop its consumer sales business. This business grew faster in the first quarter at 15%, compared to advertising revenues which grew 4%. As for FPH, its recurring net income increased by 164% showing the strength of its power generation portfolio. It is clear that earlier investments made by both ABS-CBN and FPH are now bearing fruit," said Salvador Tirona, Lopez Holdings president, chief operating officer and chief finance officer, in a statement.

Lopez Holdings has a 60.3% economic interest in ABS-CBN and 46.6% in FPH, as of end December 2011.

The company's finance costs  fell by 31% to P153 million in the first quarter of 2012, from P221 million a year ago, as Lopez Holdings lowered its debt levels.

ABS-CBN reported its net income in the first quarter fell by 69% to P306 million from P976 million during the same period last year. Excluding the one-time gain of P674 million from the sale of SkyCable PDRs, ABS-CBN's first quarter 2012 net income would have been 1% higher than last year's recurring income of P302 million.

On the other hand, FPH saw a 639% surge in its net income P5.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, from P704 million in the first quarter of 2011. This was attributed to the P3.339 billion gain from sale of a 2.66% stake in Meralco.

Without the Meralco sale, FPH net income would still be 164% higher, due to a 171% year-on-year increase in equity in net earnings to P1.721 billion as its unit First Gen Corporation derived better value from its investments in geothermal energy development.
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