Lopez Holdings nets P1.7B in July-Sept. period

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LOPEZ Holdings Corp. reported a 24% increase in net income attributable to the equity holders of the parent firm of P1.74 billion during the third quarter, the holding firm said in a regulatory filing.

The higher profit comes as the Lopez group, whose subsidiaries have interests in power generation and multimedia communications, posted revenues of P32.51 billion, up 22.9% from P26.46 billion a year ago.

Of the holding firm’s revenues for the July to September period, sale of electricity accounted for nearly 86% at P27.83 billion. Real estate, and contracts and services made up 9.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Sale of merchandise contributed the rest.

Lopez Holdings posted double-digit growth in its bottom line despite the nearly 18% increase in its cost and expenses to P24.94 billion from P21.16 billion.

For the nine months to September, the firm recorded a net income attributable to the equity holders of the parent of P3.91 billion, up 23.7% from P3.16 billion in the same period last year.

Revenues during the three quarters hit P91.19 billion, higher by 17% from P77.94 billion a year ago.

Lopez Holdings attributed the period’s performance to the better financial results of the energy group under its associate First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH).

FPH’s net income attributed to equity holders of the parent rose by 54% while ABS-CBN Corp. reported a 35% decline in profit after registering flat revenues, a 3% slide in airtime sales, and 4% increase in costs and expenses.

Meanwhile, the Lopezes’ power generation company First Gen Corp. posted a 54.6% increase in third-quarter net income attributable to the equity holders of the parent firm of $66.18 million from $42.81 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenues from the sale of electricity during the July-September period reached $523.39 million, up 22.6% from $426.99 million in the same quarter last year. The company reports its financial data in dollars, its functional currency.

For the January-September period, First Gen recorded a net income of $151.04 million, up 50% from $100.81 million. Revenues rose 14% to $1.46 billion from $1.28 billion.

In a statement on Thursday, First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno said the company’s investment in new capacity through the San Gabriel plant started serving the power needs of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers in the third quarter.

“Contrary to perception, First Gen is clearly proving the price competitiveness of clean low-carbon natural gas-fired power versus more polluting coal-fired power even at full baseload dispatch,” Mr. Puno.

First Gen said recurring net income attributable to equity holders of the parent at $180 million as of end-September was 45% higher than the previous year’s $124 million. It said its natural gas platform surged 60.9% and delivered recurring earnings of $140 million versus $87 million previously.

First Gen said its newest and most modern plant, the 420-megawatt (MW) San Gabriel flex plant, benefited from markedly higher dispatch and revenues as it sold power in the spot market at attractive prices in the first half of 2018, and its full production to Meralco under its power supply agreement in the third quarter.

It said numbers were made better by lower interest expenses and higher interest income as a result of its deleveraging initiatives. Savings in interest expense offset unrealized foreign exchange losses and higher deferred taxes.

First Gen primarily utilizes clean and indigenous fuels such as natural gas, geothermal energy from steam, hydro-electric, wind and solar power. — Victor V. Saulon