First Holdings’ earnings boosted by Meralco sale

April 18, 2011 01:49:00
Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings nearly tripled its net profit last year due mostly to gains from the sale of additional shares in power distributor Manila Electric Co. to the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Apart from one-time gains from this transaction, the performance of its subsidiaries and affiliates and lower debt levels also helped jack up its net income to P24.9 billion last year from P8.7 billion in 2009, FPH said in a press statement.

In March 30 last year, FPH completed the sale of additional 74.7 million shares or half of its remaining stake in Meralco to Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, which is affiliated with Pangilinan-led First Pacific Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong. FPH received a payment of P300 per share for a total of P22.4 billion. To date, it retains a 6.6-percent stake in Meralco and is entitled to nominate one director, among other rights.

Renewable energy company First Gen Corp. reported a net income of $70.2 million for 2010, up by 318 percent from a year ago. This was due to higher earnings posted by Energy Development Corp., First Gas Power Corp. and First Gas Hydro, complemented by the positive effects of the company’s debt reduction program.

FPH’s manufacturing arm, First Philippine Electric Corp. (First Philec), also tripled its net income to P159.9 billion from P55.3 million. Last December, its subsidiary, First Philec Solar Corp., inaugurated its second production facility that will house 60 wire saws, increasing its capacity to approximately 720 megawatts.

First Philec Nexolon Corp., a joint venture with leading Korean solar wafer manufacturer Nexolon Corp., was also incorporated last December. FPNC will be a 400-megawatt wafer slicing facility that brings First Philec’s total wafer slicing capacity to 1.1 gigawatts.

Industrial park developer First Philippine Industrial Park Inc. posted a net lower income of P312.3 million last year compared to P726.5 million the previous year, as revenues declined to P873 million versus P1.2 billion in 2009. However, the volume of land sold was the highest in the company’s history.

Upscale property developer Rockwell Land grew its net income by 26 percent to P801.2 million last year. Revenues went up by 20 percent to P4.9 billion as the company launched the 50-storey Edades Tower and Garden Villas, its latest addition to the Rockwell Center community. This is a landscaped cluster of loft apartments that complements the contemporary architecture of the main residential tower. Construction for towers A and B of The Grove, Rockwell’s first residential development project outside Makati, is also in full swing and expected to be completed by July 2012.

FPH paid cash dividends of P2 per outstanding common share and P8.7231 per share last year for preferred shares. Total dividends paid amounted to P1.2 billion for common shares and P376 million for preferred shares.

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