MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Manila Electric Co shares have gained over the past week after it said sales grew 5.7% year-on-year for the January to August period, dealers said.

Interest in Meralco remains firm amid its continuing recovery from recent losses, they added.

Chief finance officer Daniel Tagaza said Meralco’s favorable sales so far has given the company confidence that full-year revenue will grow as targeted at 4% to 5% year-on-year.

The company booked a net profit of 391 million pesos for the second quarter to June, a turnaround from the first quarter’s net loss of 325 million, due to a tariff hike and a 2.8% year-on-year increase in sales volume. (US$1=55 peso).

Meralco is confident it can meet its full-year net profit target of 1 billion pesos.

According to reports, the company is also preparing to file another tariff increase petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission soon.

Meanwhile, a Manila newspaper has today quoted Mr Tagaza as saying that the company is looking at several options to address its 1.2 billion peso long-term debt due in October.

The options include seeking a rollover, a restructuring, or raising US$200 million through a mortgage trust indenture that will serve as collateral, Mr Tagaza said.

He added that Meralco faces no problem paying this month about 1.3 billion pesos in maturing loans, which are to be settled using internal funds.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange today, Meralco said it expects to sign revisions within this year to its power supply contracts with independent power producers to bring about savings of 44 billion pesos for the duration of the deals.

The estimated savings will be passed on to Meralco’s more than 3 million customers in metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces on the main island of Luzon.

“The parties have already commenced the drafting of the renegotiated terms and conditions into formal amendments to the power supply contracts,” Meralco said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The company has been negotiating the revised terms with its IPPs, affiliate First Gas Power, FGP Corp and Quezon Power Philippines Ltd.

“We are hoping that the amendments to the contracts can be signed and presented to the Energy Regulatory Commission for approval not later than the end of the year so that the savings on purchased power cost from Meralco’s IPPs estimated at 44 billion pesos over the duration of the contracts can be enjoyed by the customers,” Meralco said.