WEAKER coal contribution pulled down Semirara Mining and Power Corp.’s (SMPC) net income in the first quarter by 39.9% to P9.03 billion from P15.03 billion a year earlier, the integrated energy company said on Wednesday.

In a stock exchange disclosure, SMPC said its consolidated revenues for the January-to-March period fell by 29% to P20.71 billion from P29.06 billion because of reduced contribution from coal operations.

However, the company said that the decline in revenues was offset by the all-time high revenues of its power segment. Power revenues in the first quarter stood at P7.66 billion, up by 59.3% from P4.81 billion due to improved plant availability.

SMPC said the commercial operation of its SEM-Calaca Power Corp.’s (SCPC) Unit 2 in 2022 increased the overall plant availability to 86% from 58%, while also increasing total average capacity to 688 megawatts (MW) from 520 MW.

The company’s gross power generation went up to 1,316 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from 914 GWh as three of its four power plants recorded improved availability and average capacity.

Power sales also expanded by 36.7% to 1,241 GWh from 908 GWh, the majority of which, or about 71%, was sold to the spot market.

Coal revenues, on the other hand, contracted by 39.8% to P15.49 billion from P25.72 billion due to lower shipments and selling prices.

“We limited our first-quarter exports because of the wild price swings. Now that prices have settled, we intend to boost our foreign shipments in the coming months,” SMPC President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Cristina C. Gotianun said.

Total shipments in the first quarter fell by 31.4% to 3.5 million metric tons (MMT) from 5.1 MMT. The company attributed the lower coal shipments to its move to pull back on exports due to price volatility.

“Our sales target for this year is between 15 and 16 million metric tons,” Ms. Gotianun said.

The average selling price of Semirara coal also decreased by 13.6% to P4,427 per metric ton (MT) from P5,125 MT mainly due to low exports and higher shipments of lower-grade coal.

At the stock exchange on Wednesday, shares in the company gained 40 centavos or 1.45% to end at P28 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose