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MANILA - (UPDATED 5:42 p.m.) Metro Pacific Investments Corp. raised its full-year guidance after core earnings rose by nearly a third in the first semester on the back of strong contributions of its power, water utility, tollways and hospital businesses.
In a statement, Manuel V. Pangilinan, MPIC chairman, said its core net profit is expected to reach up to P6.3 billion by yearend from the earlier estimate of up to P6 billion.
This after the company's core net income grew 30 percent to P3.46 billion in the first half from P2.66 billion in the same period last year due to lower interest expense and higher contributions of its investee companies.
In a briefing, David Nicol, MPIC chief financial officer, said the company expects core net income of its investee companies to reach P15.5 billion for Manila Electric Co., P6.8 billion for Maynilad Water Services Inc., P1.6 billion for Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and P730 million for the hospital group.
Earnings growth will be anchored on a projected 8 to 9 percent increase in billed volume, 3 percent increase in vehicle traffic in North Luzon Expressway and 8 percent hike in electricity sales, among others, Nicol said.
Net income attributable to owners of the parent climbed 76 percent to P3.44 billion in the first six months of the year from the previous year's P1.96 billion.
Consolidated revenues rose 29 percent to P13.62 billion from P10.59 billion in 2011.
"All our businesses achieved strong growth in profitability for the first half of the year. We are well placed for continued growth for the rest of 2012," said Jose Ma. K. Lim, MPIC president and chief executive officer.
Maynilad accounted for 43 percent of the conglomerate's total income at P1.73 billion, while Meralco contributed 33 percent or P1.31 billion.
MPTC delivered P787 million or 19 percent, while the hospital group contributed P207 million or 5 percent.
Capex raised to P29-B
"All our businesses are tightly focused on service quality while growing our sales to improve the lives of all our customers, whether it's providing excellent medical care, offering safe and rapid road transportation, delivering electricity to power homes and businesses, or piping water to improve consumption and sanitation," Pangilinan said.
MPIC also hiked its capital expenditure for the year at almost P29 billion from the P23.3 billion announced in March.
Meralco will get the lion's share at P11.9 billion, while Maynilad will receive P8.4 billion.
The conglomerate will also allot P2.6 billion and P1.7 billion for MPTC and the hospital group, respectively.
The group also has an allowance of P3.9 billion in its capex for possible investment in railway, Pangilinan said.
Lim said MPIC is in serious discussions with four foreign companies as it prepares to bid for the expansion and management of the Light Rail Transit Line 1. Pre-qualification bidding is set on August 22.
MPIC has forged a partnership with Ayala Corp. and they need to bring in a foreign partner for technical expertise.
Bulk water project falls through
Maynilad is also looking at opportunities in existing water contracts in local districts in Bulacan after its joint proposal with Manila Water Co. Inc. for a bulk water project in the area fell through.
"The regulator has decided [it] will bid out the bulk water. Our joint proposal with Manila Water has been shelved. There are water districts there that need bulk water supply and so we are looking at those," Lim said.
For the expansion of the hospital group, MPIC is looking to add 300 more beds by yearend to its network of over 1,800 beds from its current portfolio of six hospitals.
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