Semirara profit up 24% in 1st half

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By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor

SEMIRARA MINING and Power Corp. (SMPC) posted a 24% increase in first-half net income to P7.86 billion from P6.36 billion as its main units performed strongly during the period, the company’s financial data showed.

In its report to the stock exchange on Thursday, the Consunji-led company said its coal production unit contributed P4.23 billion, accounting for 54% of the semester’s profit.

Its two power plants — Sem-Calaca Power Corp. and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. — turned in P2.14 billion and P1.50 billion or a corresponding share of about 27% and 19%.

Before eliminations, coal and the two power plants Sem-Calaca and Southwest Luzon recorded core net income after tax of P5.32 billion, P1.15 billion and P1.40 billion, respectively.

“Coal production increased by 25% [year on year] to 7.35 million metric tons (MTs) from 5.88 million MTs last year,” the company said.

Production for the six-month period included low-grade coal at 772,000 tons, higher by 70% compared with 454,000 tons in the same period last year.

However, coal sales volume slipped by 4% to 6.3 million MTs from 6.6 million MTs a year ago “mainly due to timing difference of export deliveries,” the company said.

Sem-Calaca generated 1,383 gigawatt-hours (GWh), up 14% from 1,212 GWh previously, despite one unit going offline for three months.

“Although Unit 1 was on maintenance shutdown the whole of first quarter and only came back online in mid April this year, average load increased to 244 MW (megawatts) from 184 MW last year,” SMPC said, adding that the second unit was operating more reliably this period.

The power plant’s total energy sales increased by 1% to 1,401 GWh from 1,390 GWh a year ago.

Southwest Luzon posted an 8% rise in power generation to 817 GWh during the first half, from 754 GWh last year as both its units have started commercial operation in August 2016.

The subsidiary secured its certificate of compliance from the Energy Regulatory Commission on May 15, 2017, allowing the plants to run at full capacity of 150 MW each.

Total average load of both units increased by 6% from last year. Energy sales rose by 2% to 771 GWh from 757 GWh last year.

Also on Thursday, SMPC announced its board approved the declaration of special cash dividends of P5 per share or a total of P5,326,432,150.

“This was prompted by the change in project timeline of its new investments, thus cash allocated per budget coming from cash generated from operations was realigned for special cash dividend to its shareholders,” it said.

The special cash dividend will be sourced from the company’s unappropriated retained earnings for the interim period as of June 30, 2017. SMPC’s board has set the record date on Aug. 25, 2017 and the payment date on Sept. 8, 2017.

Shares in SMPC closed 0.30% or 50 centavos higher at P166.30 apiece on Thursday.