BusinessMirror

MPIC core income climbs 13% to ₧5.3B in Jan-june

- By VG Cabuag @villygc

Metro Pacific Investment­s Corp. (MPIC) said it posted a core income of P6 billion in the first semester, up 13 percent from P5.3 billion last year, on the back of improved traffic on its toll roads and higher volume of electricit­y sold.

MPIC'S core net income of P3.5 billion in the second quarter was 37 percent higher quarter-on-quarter. The figure was also 82 percent higher than the P1.9 billion recorded last year, when the country's economy was crippled by the strictest lockdown.

Power contribute­d P5.4 billion or 63 percent of the total; toll roads, P1.9 billion or 22 percent; and water, P1.4 billion or 17 percent. Other businesses, mainly light rail and logistics, had an overall loss of P294 million owing to the continuing impact of the pandemic on the ridership of LRT-1 and the ongoing recalibrat­ion of warehousin­g operations.

The hospital group contribute­d P142 million as it was able to adjust to new lockdown measures.

Jose Ma. K. Lim, the company’s president and CEO, said MPIC is confident of hitting its core income guidance of P12 billion by the end of the year.

“The reason our financials were adversely affected [by the hard lockdown] the first time around was that in the first round it was quite severe that the economy was totally shut down. But since then, the government including our hospitals group have learned to adjust to new lockdowns,” Lim said.

“We feel this time around this new lockdown will affect the transport segment of our portfolio but not to the same degree [as in the first]. And so in fact our tollways traffic is now at 774,000 vehicles per day [and] that is only 12 percent below what it was pre-pandemic.” As for the Light Rail Manila Corp., Lim noted that capacity utilizatio­n was restricted by the government. Ridership averages about 120,000 per day, or 42 percent of the pre-pandemic levels.

“But otherwise all our businesses are doing particular­ly well particular­ly the hospital [group] as they have already learned how to adjust to Covid. In the first lockdown they were severely affected. In fact they lost money in most instances but by comparison they have recovered to almost normal operations and profitabil­ity.”

The company is restructur­ing its logistics business and is dropping the trucking operations and the forwarding business, which he said was “too problemati­c.” It is also winding down its unprofitab­le warehousin­g operations.

“No, we are not leaving our contracts. We’re allowing the contracts to wind down,” he said.

He also said the company is already in talks for the possible acquisitio­n of another logistics firm.

“It’s not our plan to leave logistics. Our plan is in fact to find a stronger platform from which we can enter into the area of e commerce, where we believe the market is in great need of service. We would look into existing strong operators, people who have a proven track record, either acquire or buy into this platform. That I think is, you know, in a nutshell, what we want to do with the logistics.”

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