Higher billed volume boosts Manila Water H1 profit

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc registered an 8% growth in its net income in the first half of 2014, attributed to higher billed volume across its concession areas.

In a regulatory filing, the East Zone metro concessionaire reported net earnings of P3.16 billion ($71.61 million)*, up from P2.91 billion ($65.94 million) registered in the same period last year.

Manila Water’s revenues for the period rose by 6% to P8.11 billion ($183.76 million) from P7.63 billion ($172.96 million) in the same period last year.

Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 5% to P6.02 billion ($136.45 million) from P5.72 billion ($129.65 million) in the comparative period.

The total billed volume in the first 6 months of the year rose by 16% to 331.1 million cubic meters (mcm) from 287 mcm in the same period last year. This includes the service areas run by its local subsidiaries Boracay Island Water, Clark Water, and Laguna Water, and its Vietnam units Thu Duc Water and Kenh Dong Water.

The number of water service connections in its domestic concession areas – Metro Manila East Zone, Boracay Island, Clark, and Laguna – rose by 3% to 938,020 service connections in the first semester of the year from 910,772 service connections in the same period last year.

Expansion ongoing

Manila Water president and CEO Gerardo Ablaza Jr previously said the company is actively scouting for areas outside Metro Manila where it can gain water supply rights.

Specifically, the company is searching for opportunities in areas with a population of half a million, an economically viable area for providing bulk water service.

The company is also amenable to taking on non-revenue water reduction projects in provinces that already have water service providers.

Boracay Water and Laguna Water also continue to expand service coverage in water and wastewater services.

Manila Water is also expanding its presence in Vietnam through the acquisition last year of a 31.47% stake in Vietnam's Saigon Water Infrastructure Corporation (SII) by its wholly-owned subsidiary Manila Water South Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd.

SII would be a vehicle for developing other water ventures, Abaya added.

The company also continues to pursue expansion opportunities in Myanmar and Indonesia. – Rappler.com










($1 = P44.11)