Signs of recovery in industrial sales–Meralco

Published by rudy Date posted on August 28, 2009

THE Philippines’ biggest electricity distributor said its industrial sales are showing signs of a recovery.

In a press conference Thursday, Jose de Jesus, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) president, said the utility’s industrial sales, which took a hit from the global economic crisis, have begun improving.

From a dip of 18.70 percent at the start of the year, industrial sales, which constitute less than a third of its revenues, contracted by a slower 5.90 percent in July.

“Every month since January, it’s been improving by about 1.60 percent. And the overall also turned positive for the first time even though it’s very small,” de Jesus said.

In terms of sales volume, Meralco’s industrial account reached 4,111 gigwatt-hours at end-July, or a 5.84-percent decline from 4,366 gigawatt-hours in the same period in 2008.

Overall, Meralco’s sales turned positive, inching up 0.10 percent, or 15,396 gigawatt-hours from a decline of 0.50 percent, or 15,379 gigawatt-hours over the same period.

Meralco serves the electricity needs of 4.63 million customers in Metro Manila and outlying provinces.

Despite enjoying the largest franchise area and customer base in the country, the company’s sales at the start of the year slumped after exporting industrial customers took a hit from the global slowdown.

De Jesus said that around 80 percent of Meralco’s industrial customers belong to the semiconductor manufacturing business, whose main markets are large economies abroad.

The Meralco official said the company projects to achieve a flat growth for the year.

“If indeed the economy will continue to recover, our sales almost correlates with the growth in the economy—so while we are forecasting a flat [growth] we are hoping sales growth will be positive,” he said. –Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo, Reporter, Manila Times

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