Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. said net income climbed 17 percent in 2017 to P14.1 billion from a year ago.
The results, which were lifted by strong performance from power, tollroads and hospitals businesses, exceeded Metro Pacific’s P13.8-billion core net income target for 2017.
Power, including distribution and generation, accounted for P9.4 billion or 52 percent of the company’s net operating income, followed by tollroads which contributed P3.9 billion or 22 percent of the total.
Water, including distribution, production and sewerage treatment, added P3.7 billion, while hospital group provided P685 million and rail, logistics and systems group delivered P150 million.
“Our earnings growth reflects significant volume increases for all our businesses, supported by years of high investment together with our continuing emphasis on operational efficiencies,” Metro Pacific president and chief executive Jose Ma. Lim said.
The company’s board of directors declared a final dividend for 2017 of 7.6 centavos per share or 12 percent higher than the year-earlier figure and marking a payout ratio of 25 percent of core income per share.
Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan said despite struggles with tariff issues on water and tollroad businesses, the conglomerate would continue to focus on building much needed infrastructure in the country.
“We are doing our best to support the ‘Build, Build, Build’ agenda of the government. However, our investors [many of whom are hard working Filipino savers and pensioners by the way] and our creditors need confidence that our various concession and franchise agreements will be observed,” he said.
“We are working hard to resolve these matters. It is our hope that our partners in government could come along with us in the spirit of partnership in which our various projects were conceived,” Pangilinan said.
Metro Pacific has at least 11 unsolicited projects submitted to the government for approval. These are mostly tollroads, water and waste-to-energy projects.
Pangilinan said while Metro Pacific was expecting strong volume growth this year, it was too early to provide earnings guidance and capital expenditure guidance for the year.