Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ABS-CBN's Parent Firm H1 profits soar 569% to P5.45-B

MANILA, Philippines - Sale of assets, including a minority stake in power retailer Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), caused the net income of listed Lopez Holdings Corp. to skyrocket by 569% in the first 6 months of 2012.

In a disclosure on Tuesday, August 14, Lopez Holdings (formerly Benpres Holdings) announced that its net income for the period reached P5.451 billion, a far cry from year ago's P815 million. 

Lopez Holdings is the parent of media group ABS-CBN Corp. and power firm First Philippine Holdings Corp (FPHC) through respective economic interests of 60.3% and 46.6%.

Gains from equity holdings in units it does not control, including FPHC, zoomed to P4.914 billion during the period from a net loss of P127 million a year ago. 

Meralco assets 

FPHC sold 30 million Meralco shares, representing a 2.66% stake, in January to the group led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan. This deal earned for the parent firm a massive P3.338 billion. 

FPHC used to hold 34% stake in Meralco but has slowly whittled this down following a series of transactions with the Pangilinan group. 

On top of this 2012 Meralco stake sale, Lopez Holdings realized an additional P1.834 billion from the property dividends FPHC received from its property unit, Rockwell Land.

The property dividends were bought by Beacon Electric, which has a stake in Pangilinan-led Meralco.


The media group is the only operating subsidiary of Lopez Holdings. 

ABS-CBN reported a 45% decline in net income for the first 6 months of the year to P927 million from P1.677 billion a year ago largely due to the one-time P674 million gain from the sale of Philippine depository receipts of cable unit SkyCable. 

Without the SkyCable-related one-time gains, ABS-CBN's net income would have dropped by 8% instead. 

Revenues from advertising and consumer sales (via global operations) improved by 9% to P15.252 billion from P13.955 billion.


FPHC's net income reached P10.776 billion in the first 6 months, from a year ago loss of P402 million, thanks to the Meralco and Rockwell deals. 

Without these one-time gains, FPHC net income would still be higher by 811%. 

FPHC revenues improved by 27% to P39.860 billion from P31.488 billion, largely due to power generation arm First Gen Corp., which "derived better value from its investments in geothermal energy development." 

First Gen majority owns geothermal company Energy Development Corp. (EDC), which was back in black at end-June after it reversed the nearly P5 billion losses incurred from the shuttered geothermal plant in Negros in 2011.

EDC's 132-megawatt Pantabangan-Masiway hydro power plant generated an additional P1.4 billion revenues from sale of electricity as ancillary services or reserve power supply, while the 305-megawatt Palinpinon-Tongonan geothermal plant also raked in P1.1 billion in additional sales from power supply contracts. -

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