By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter
PANGILINAN group’s listed tollways and infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has pegged its capital expenditures (capex) for this year at around P136 billion, up from last year’s P78 billion.
“For the group-wide capex, it’s about P136 billion — the biggest obviously will be coming from the power group, and that’s about P57 billion,” MPIC Chief Financial Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer June Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla said during a virtual briefing on Wednesday.
Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.’s (MPTC) capex for the year is estimated to be P32 billion, while Maynilad Water Services, Inc.’s budget is about P12-14 billion, she added.
Meanwhile, Light Rail Manila Corp., operator of the Light Rail Transit Line 1, will have about P6 billion.
Including PLDT, Inc. and other non-MPIC companies, last year’s capex “would be about P169 billon,” MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
For 2022, Ms. Cabal-Revilla said the group’s capex — including PLDT group’s P75 billion, Philex Mining Corp.’s P1.5 billion, and PXP Energy Corp.’s P2 billion — would be “about P215 billion.”
As for the group’s core income guidance for the year, she said: “We will probably grow by a single-digit on the high side or by a double-digit but on the low side.”
She said the group has yet to “rerun its numbers” to account for the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on its businesses.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to push fuel prices upwards, Mr. Pangilinan noted.
He said rising fuel prices could affect the traffic volume on the group’s tollways “because it’s [now] more expensive to use cars.”
“Philex Mining will be a beneficiary because metal prices have been as well impacted by overall geopolitical situations, principally in Ukraine,” he added.
At the same time, he noted that the situation would have “very little impact” on the group’s water business.
“On telco, [the impact is] not much, because most of our revenues are driven by domestic demand,” he also said.
MPTC expects to open in April the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway and complete within the year the first phase of the North Luzon Expressway Connector project.
Ms. Cabal-Revilla said the group has “plans of doing an initial public offering” by “early next year.”
“We do have other businesses that are for taking out to market, our hospital group and Maynilad. I think the most immediate that we can put out to market is the hospital group (Metro Pacific Hospitals)… because they are also trying to acquire more hospitals to expand our footprint,” she added.
MPIC’s core net income for 2021 increased by 20% to P12.3 billion from P10.2 billion a year earlier.
“This substantial improvement from the 13% growth in the first half of the year was largely driven by improved traffic on the group’s toll roads and higher volume of electricity sold by Manila Electric Co.,” the listed company said in a statement.
Net Income attributable to owners of the parent company went up by 112% to P10.1 billion last year from P4.8 billion in 2020.
The group’s core net income for the fourth quarter grew by 14% to P2.8 billion compared with the same period in 2020.
“This acceleration of growth reflected an improvement in performance notwithstanding 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 Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Law, which lowered corporate income tax rates from 30% to 25%,” MPIC said.
MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining and PLDT.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.
MPIC shares closed 0.81% lower at P3.69 apiece on Wednesday.