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First Gen logs 12% drop in net earnings to P9.6 B

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation has posted 12-percent decline in earnings to P9.6 billion (US$190 million) in the three quarters of this year vis-à-vis heftier profitability of P11.3 billion (US$217 million) in the same period last year.

Within the January-September period, the company noted that its gas platform posted decline in recurring earnings, and that was mainly attributed to the “planned outages and lower dispatch of some of its power facilities,” primarily its 420-megawatt San Gabriel and 100MW Avion natural gas plants.

Given its weaker financial outcome, First Gen emphasized that its recurring attributable income to parent firm had also been reduced to P6.8 billion (US$135 million) from P7.9 billion (US$151 million) a year ago; while net income attributable to equity holders had been at P9.9 billion or reduced by 11-percent versus P11.5 billion in 2019.

On consolidated revenues, this was also lower by 16-percent to P68.6 billion in the three quarters as compared to P84.2 billion a year ago. The company emphasized that 60-percent of its revenues are from its natural gas facilities.

First Gen President and COO Francis Giles B. Puno noted that “the growth in power demand understandably did not materialize and it affected power prices.”

Nevertheless, he specified that the company had seen recovery of demand in the third quarter, “as conditions eased and we expect this positive trend to continue as the economy slowly recovers from the effects of the lockdown.”

Despite downtrend on its income though, First Gen noted it will still be advancing aggressively its planned interim offshore liquefied natural gas terminal (IOT) that will be underpinned by a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) for its LNG importation starting third quarter of 2022.

Puno said the company “is gaining a lot of positive momentum in developing its LNG platform,” referring to the gas import terminal project that will be sited at its Clean Energy Complex in Batangas.

The company is undertaking the LNG project with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. and the most recent milestone to it was the engagement of McConnell Dowell as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the facility.

Puno said First Gen will be exploring “the viability of small-scale liquefied natural gas solutions in our industrial, park,” in reference to their affiliate firm First Philippine Industrial Park in Batangas.

He stressed their company is a “believer in the growth and potential of the country despite the challenges we have all recently undergone.”

Meanwhile, on First Gen’s subsidiary Energy Development Corporation (EDC), its recurring earnings turned in by its geothermal, wind and solar platforms had been at P3.3 billion in the last three quarters, marginally lower from P3.5 billion in the same period last year.

The Lopez firm emphasized that “the renewable energy company reported higher taxable income as it incurred lower operating expenses and lower interest expenses.”

From its hydro facilities, there was a drastic drop of 76-percent on posted income to P200 million within the nine-month stretch from last year’s rosier turnout of P700 million; and the tumble was mainly traced to the lower prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), although it was partly offset by higher sales of ancillary services.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/11/first-gen-logs-12-drop-in-net-earnings-to-p9-6-b/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=first-gen-logs-12-drop-in-net-earnings-to-p9-6-b)

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