MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is confident it can meet its core profit target of P16 billion this year.
"Our chairman Mr. Manuel Pangilinan has upped our guidance to P16 billion by yearend. We hope to make our targets. We are very confident and optimistic with the way the economy is going right now," Betty Siy-Yap, Meralco senior vice president and chief finance officer, said on Mornings@ANC. The core profit target for 2012 was previously P15.5 billion.
Meralco's net income for the first 9 months of the year rose 37% to P13.6 billion, from P10 billion a year ago. Core net income reached P12.9 billion for the January to September period.
Meralco's 9-month revenues reached P214.7 billion, up from P189.1 billion a year ago, driven by increased volume of energy sales.
"We are buoyed by a very resilient economy anddomestic consuption. In general, we have seen increases in all of our customer classes, industrial, residential and commercial," Siy-Yap said.
In 2013, Meralco is expected to start full commercial operations of its prepaid electricity service. Siy-Yap said the prepaid electricity service is meant to prevent consumers from "bill shock."
She added that Meralco is talking with telcos for a service which would allow them to send text messages to customers informing them if they are down to 3-day load value.
The technical pilot test will be conducted in Angono, Rizal in the first quarter of 2013, and the commercial pilot test in the third quarter of 2013.
Lower rates for December
Consumers can expect lower power rates in December, and maybe even in 2013.
"At this time of the year, power rates are generally lower because demand has come down and temperatures are cooler... We recently said that December power purchase rates will be lower. Our purchase from the WESM is much lower," Siy-Yap said.
"Moving on to 2013, we actually have contracted new power sales agreements with the IPPs and this will be on stream once ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) approves the power rates. We are proud to say that we have been able to contract them at very competitive prices which will redound to the benefit of consumers," she added.