Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Manila Water profits up in Q3; utility hikes customer base

J. B. F. Santos

Profits of listed utility Manila Water Co. grew by more than a tenth in the third quarter on the back of higher revenues.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Manila Water reported that its net income for the third quarter rose by 14% year on year to P2.3 billion, driven by a 6% increase in core revenues and better tax and operating efficiency. The company’s water sales for the third quarter went up by 1% to 294.5 million cubic meters.

“The completion of our expansion projects helped us meet the growing demands as we increased our customer base,” Rene D. Almendras, Manila Water president, said in a statement.

“Likewise, the strong focus on cost management further improved our operating margins,” Mr. Almendras added.

The company said 54,000 new households were added to its customer base, bringing the total to 1.07 million households.

The company’s nonrevenue water, or water lost in the system, dropped to 15.4%, or 4.8% lower than last year’s level.

The company’s operating costs, however, grew by 3%.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System had already extended the Ayala-led Manila Water’s concession to service western Metro Manila by another 15 years to 2037. The company had said the extension would allow it to infuse investments of up to P450 billion, while tempering increases in water tariffs over the next few years.

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