Manila Water posts Php3.7B Net Income in 2021
Manila Water posted consolidated earnings of ₱3.7 billion for 2021, 18% lower than the previous year as the full-year effect of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted customer demand and business operations, even as domestic and international operations outside the East Zone Concession showed improved performance. Despite the challenges, including an ongoing tariff freeze, the Company pushed through with its projects to ensure prudent compliance to regulatory and service commitments, with group CAPEX at nearly ₱17 billion for the year.
On a group level, revenues declined 4% to ₱20.3 billion due to lower billed volume across all segments in the East Zone Concession and in several domestic subsidiaries, with the full-year impact of COVID-19 restrictions significantly affecting customer consumption.
Cost and expenses for the period stood at ₱9.2 billion in 2021, up 7% from last year, as business and operating activities ramped up coming from restrictions imposed under the Enhanced Community Quarantines (ECQ) in 2020. This increase was partially offset by lower power and chemical costs in line with lower production during the period.
For its operations in the East Zone Concession, 2021 saw revenues decline by 6% to ₱9.2 billion, mainly driven by 4% decline in billed volume. Meanwhile, cost and expenses rose by 11% to ₱5.5 billion for the period, driven by the resumption of repairs and maintenance, collection, connection, and sanitation activities with the relative easing of ECQ restrictions from the previous year. These activities are in compliance with increasing service obligations in the East Zone Concession, even as it continues to operate under a tariff freeze on implementing approved adjustments.
Despite the challenges posed by ECQ restrictions on project execution, the East Zone Concession continued with its capital expenditure program, consequently posting nearly ₱14.0 billion worth of projects for the year. Said projects focus on water supply, network reliability and wastewater expansion in line with the fulfillment of service obligations under its Service Improvement Plan. Some notable projects are the East Bay Project which will provide an additional 50 million liters per day (mld) of water supply to customers by extracting water from Laguna Lake. Furthermore, the Wawa Calawis project will provide total additional supply of 518 mld, with 80 mld already available by end 2022. These projects will further augment available water supply to East Zone Concession customers and ensure reliable water service, with continued collaboration with key government agencies MWSS, NWRB and NIA. East Zone Concession customers currently continue to experience 24x7 water supply but the growing demand will require investments in additional infrastructure.
Looking at the businesses outside the East Zone Concession, Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) saw improvement in profitability with the good performance of its North Luzon and Central Luzon clusters. Specifically, MWPV’s Laguna Water saw a 2% growth in billed volume, driven by the increase in consumption with the energization of its Laguna Wellfield.
For Manila Water Asia Pacific (MWAP), equity share in net income of associates more than doubled in 2021, with improved performance from East Water in Thailand, as well as by bulk water supply operations of Thu Duc Water and Kenh Dong Water in Vietnam. Lastly, 2021 marked key wins for Manila Water for both its domestic and international businesses. For MWPV, it secured a 200mld bulk water supply contract for the Province of Pangasinan. This ₱8.0billion, 25-year project will provide bulk water supply to over 1.3 million customers in the province. For MWAP, 2021 signaled the entry of Manila Water in the Middle East market as it successfully closed two Management, Operations and Maintenance (MOM) contracts with the National Water Company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its Northwest and Eastern clusters, respectively. These MOM contracts are in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s long-term plan towards a public-private partnership for its water utility.