First Gen H1 income down 13% to P6.6B
EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
The Manila Times
FIRST Gen Corp. reported a 13-percent reduction in recurring net income in the first half of 2022 to P6.6 billion from P7.1 billion in 2021, primarily due to lower operating income from its natural gas and geothermal business units. In a disclosure, Francis Giles Puno, First Gen president and chief operating officer, said First Gen’s first-half earnings were affected by fuel availability issues that specifically affected the company’s natural gas, geothermal and wind plants. “Our geothermal system was affected by Typhoon ‘Odette’ in early 2022 and is currently catching up on maintenance activities. As for the natural gas fleet, it was weighed down by gas interruptions at the Malampaya field that required us to import liquid fuel,” Puno said. First Gen said revenues from the sale of electricity in the first semester of 2022 reached P65.7 billion, a 21-percent increase from P50.8 billion in the same period last year. The company attributed the higher revenues to elevated fuel and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices. The natural gas portfolio accounted for 65 percent of First Gen’s total consolidated revenues while 31 percent came from the Energy Development Corp.’s (EDC) geothermal, wind and solar plants. The remaining 4-percent balance was from the hydro plants. During the six-month period, First Gen’s natural gas platform reported a 10-percent decrease in recurring earnings of P5 billion from P5.2 billion in 2021. With nonrecurring items, the natural gas platform’s attributable net income to parent decreased to P4.8 billion from 5.2 billion. The unit also paid increased income taxes compared to the previous year. First Gen said its geothermal, wind and solar platform suffered from lower wind generation at the Burgos project in the first semester of 2022 compounded by increased taxes as the income tax holiday of the Burgos project expired in November 2021. Although electricity produced from the geothermal business benefited from higher electricity prices, EDC’s earnings were affected by outages at Bacman and Leyte, which was generation curtailment attributable to Typhoon Odette and the expiration of power contracts in Mindanao. EDC’s recurring and attributable earnings fell by 20 percent to P1.9 billion for the first half of 2022 as compared to its recurring income of P2.3 billion. This was also 19 percent lower than its attributable income of P2.2 billion in 2021. The hydro platform’s contribution to First Gen’s recurring and nonrecurring earnings reached P0.4 billion as against P0.3 billion last year. The company said its Pantabangan-Masiway power plants generated higher operating income from its sales contract with Meralco, though it occasionally suffered from costlier replacement power purchased from WESM.