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First Gen income down as power demand slips

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FIRST GEN Corp. posted a 15% decline in net income attributable to equity holders to $65 million in the first quarter, brought down by lower electricity demand during the Luzon-wide lockdown starting in mid-March.

In a regulatory filing, the Lopez-led energy company translated the recurring net income figure to P3.3 billion in the local currency.

First Gen said electricity sales went down by 10% to $481 million or P24.4 billion in the January-March period.

“Though electricity is an essential need, First Gen has not been spared from the difficulties. The lockdown imposed in March has translated to lower electricity demand,” First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno said.

The company’s natural gas business, which accounts for 60% of its consolidated revenues, saw its recurring attributable net income fall by 13% to P2 billion, dragged down by lower average natural gas prices with a decrease in plant dispatch.

Energy Development Corp.’s earnings contribution from its geothermal, wind, and solar platform was slightly lower at P1.3 billion. Its revenues, which make up 37% of its parent’s overall revenues, fell to P9 billion from P9.4 billion in last year’s first quarter.

First Gen Hydro Power Corp. brought in P200 million in revenue contribution, lower by 51% from P500 million last year, due to lower prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), though, it was offset by higher ancillary service sales.

The hydropower estate’s revenues, which account for 3% of First Gen’s total earnings, decreased by 37% to P700 million in the quarter from P1.1 billion it generated in 2019, attributed to “poor” WESM sales.

First Gen, a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings Corp., has a renewable energy portfolio of 3,492 megawatts (MW) in installed capacity, accounting for 21% of the Philippines’ gross power generation.

On Tuesday, shares in First Gen inched down 0.66% to close at P18.02 each. — A. J. Ang





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