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Metro Pacific gets first-half boost, sees P1.5B in profits

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]

HIGHER PROFITS reported by subsidiaries boosted Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. from January to June, prompting the holding company to adjust its yearend profit target by another P300 million.

"As the first-half results yielded higher revenues across all of Metro Pacific’s businesses, the group’s strong financial position raised our level of confidence and prospect for our latest guidance number," Metro Pacific Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a statement.

Mr. Pangilinan said the holding firm expects P1.5 billion in core net income, up from the earlier target of P1.2 billion. The P1.5-billion target, he noted, does not yet include the impact of Metro Pacific’s investment in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

For the first half, Metro Pacific’s reported net income stood at P1.7 billion, up from last year’s P339 million. Core net income also went up to P716 million from January to June, higher than last year’s P15 million.

"Optimal overall performance, internal controls and system efficiencies have sustained the growth of [our units during the period]. This demonstrates that even in a challenging economic environment, the group’s strong operating income stream will continue to exceed expectations and contribute higher margins," Jose Ma. K. Lim, president and chief executive officer, said.

During the period, Metro Pacific said the net income of unit Maynilad Water Services, Inc. stood at P2.31 billion following improvements across the utility’s key performance indicators. Maynilad’s billed water reached 167.03 million cubic meters, more than a tenth higher from last year.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. achieved a profit increase of more than a third to P607 million, largely attributable to the higher-than-expected volume of cars reported by Manila North Tollways Corp. and higher contributions from the Tollways Management Corp.

Hospital operators Medical Doctors, Inc. and Cardinal Santos Medical Center likewise reported a 52% increase in revenues to P2.15 billion in the first half. The net income of its other hospital, Davao Doctors Hospital, reached P70 million from January to June, significantly higher than the P55 million reported in the same period last year.

Metro Pacific said the acquisition of Meralco shares from the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund and First Pacific Ltd.’s Crogan Ltd. has yet to be approved by stockholders. Once the deal is finalized, the holding company will have a 13% stake in the power distributor.

Shares in Metro Pacific climbed by 1.81% or P0.10 to P5.60 apiece yesterday.

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. — Kristine Jane R. Liu


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