Manila Water registers 36.8% growth in Q1 profit

MANILA Water Co., Inc. saw a 36.8% rise in its first-quarter (Q1) attributable net income to P3.12 billion, boosted by sustained growth in billed volume and tariff adjustments.

“The sustained recovery of customer demand and implementation of tariff adjustments in both its East Zone Concession and several of its Non-East Zone Philippines (NEZ PH) businesses were the main drivers for the positive performance,” the water company said in a statement on Tuesday.

For the January-to-March period, the company’s revenues increased by 19% to P8.8 billion.

This growth was driven by billed volume growth, particularly the recovery of the east zone’s commercial and industrial accounts. The company’s NEZ PH business also provided support during this period.

Manila Water’s revenues at its east zone concession jumped by 21% to nearly P7 billion with the implementation of the rate rebasing tariff adjustment in January, as well as the sustained increase in consumption across all customer segments.

Cost and expenses climbed by 4% to P1.9 billion due to higher premises and personnel costs in line with the completion of additional facilities.

Earnings from its NEZ PH group reached P248 million driven by higher water revenues primarily from tariff adjustments and higher contributions from several of its key businesses.

For this segment, cost and expenses were kept steady at P929 million with lower direct costs.

Manila Water’s earnings from international operations went down at P7 million.

“The lower share in net income of associates was largely due to the decline in performance of its investment in Thailand, and Vietnam bulk water businesses.”

In January, Manila Water implemented the second tranche of tariff adjustments in line with its approved Rate Rebasing Service Improvement Plan.

This amounts to a positive tariff adjustment of P6.41 per cubic meter.

“We see the successful implementation of our approved tariff adjustments in the East Zone and several of our operations in the country as a clear sign of stability and recovery for our sector,” Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Jocot de Dios said.

“These developments enable us to execute our projects aimed at improving service quality, providing reliable water supply, and expanding our network coverage to more communities,” he added.

Manila Water said it has committed to invest close to P100 billion over its current five-year rate rebasing period for its various water supply and network improvement projects, as well as to expand coverage and capacity of its wastewater system. 

The company’s capital expenditure reached P4.6 billion in the first three months of the year, with east zone concession accounting for 82% of the total with its P4.2 billion accomplishment.

At the local bourse on Tuesday, shares in Manila Water went up by P0.90 or 3.47% to close at P26.80 each. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera