MPIC sets capital expenditure at P136B; corners of the P57B power group

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

The PANGILINAN Group’s toll and infrastructure conglomerate, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), set its capital expenditure (capex) for this year at around 136 billion pesos, compared to 78 billion pesos last year.

“For group-wide capital expenditure, it’s about 136 billion pesos – obviously the biggest will come from the power group, and that’s about 57 billion pesos,” June said. Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer of MPIC, during a virtual conference. briefing on Wednesday.

Investments by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) for the year are estimated at 32 billion pesos, while Maynilad Water Services, Inc.’s budget is around 12-14 billion pesos, she added.

Meanwhile, Light Rail Manila Corp., operator of Light Rail Line 1, will have about 6 billion pesos at its disposal.

Including PLDT, Inc. and other non-MPIC companies, last year’s capital expenditure “would be around 169 billion pesos,” MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

For 2022, Ms Cabal-Revilla said the group’s capital expenditures – including PLDT Group’s 75 billion pesos, Philex Mining Corp.’s 1.5 billion pesos. and 2 billion pesos from PXP Energy Corp. – would be “about 215 billion pesos”.

Regarding the group’s core revenue forecast for the year, she said, “We’ll probably grow single digits on the high side or double digits but on the low side.”

She said the group has yet to “re-run its numbers” to take into account the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on its business.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues to drive up fuel prices, Pangilinan noted.

He said rising fuel prices could affect the volume of traffic on the group’s toll roads “because it’s [now] more expensive to use cars.

“Philex Mining will benefit as metal prices have also been impacted by global geopolitical situations, mainly in Ukraine,” he added.

At the same time, he noted that the situation would have “very little impact” on the group’s water activity.

“On telco, [the impact is] not much, because most of our income is driven by domestic demand,” he also said.

MPTC plans to open the Cebu-Cordova Link expressway in April and complete the first phase of the North Luzon Expressway Connector project within the year.

Ms Cabal-Revilla said the group had “plans to make an initial public offering” by “early next year”.

“We have other companies for marketing, our hospital group and Maynilad. I think the most immediate we can bring to market is the hospital group (Metro Pacific Hospitals)…because they’re also trying to acquire more hospitals to expand our footprint,” she added.

MPIC’s basic net income for 2021 increased by 20% to 12.3 billion pesos, from 10.2 billion pesos a year earlier.

“This substantial improvement from the 13% growth in the first half was largely due to improved traffic on the group’s toll roads and increased electricity volume sold by Manila Electric Co.” , the listed company said in a statement.

Net profit attributable to parent company owners rose 112% to 10.1 billion pesos last year, from 4.8 billion pesos in 2020.

The group’s basic net income for the fourth quarter increased by 14% to 2.8 billion pesos compared to the same period in 2020.

“This acceleration in growth reflected improved performance despite the continued imposition of varying levels of quarantine across the country to contain the coronavirus pandemic and was partially augmented by the impact of the Business Recovery Act and corporate tax incentives, which reduced corporate tax rates from 30% to 25%,” MPIC said.

MPIC is one of First Pacific’s three main Philippine units, the others being Philex Mining and PLDT.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, owns a controlling interest in Business world through the Philippine Star Group, which he controls.

MPIC shares closed down 0.81% at P3.69 apiece on Wednesday.