Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – After a surprise surge in sales volume last year, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) expects softer growth in sales this year coming from a higher base in 2016, a ranking company official said.
The power distributor saw growth going beyond projections in 2016 as demand surged due to the El Niño phenomenon, Meralco SVP and head of customer retail services and corporate communications Alfredo Panlilio said in a recent interview.
“Last year, we went beyond our projected estimates. A growth of 8.1 percent was a very strong (growth for us last) year,” he said.
Meralco breached the 40,000 gigawatt-hour (gwh) consolidated sales volume in 2016, of which around 39,500 gwh was under the Meralco franchise and more than 500 gwh-hours was under its affiliate Clark Energy Development Corp., the company official said.
Full-year sales growth stood at three to 3.5 percent in 2016, down compared from a growth of 5.6 percent in 2015.
Panlilio said the full-year growth was a result of a strong first half performance.
“The first half was very strong. We were double digit until June or July. Our growth was 10 percent at least,” he said. “It only tapered off in the second half of the year because of (the cooler) weather and others.”
For this year, Meralco sees a modest growth coming from a high base.
“I don’t expect the same growth this year,” Panlilio said.
Growth will still come from customer growth and business appetite, the Meralco official said.
“But if our GDP is still at 6.9 to 7 percent, we will still continue to see growth in energy sales,” Panlilio said.