VISAYAN Electric, the country’s second largest power distributor, saw its net income rise 9.18 percent to P2.26 billion in 2019, but the company is expecting its revenue to fall this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its 2019 revenue hit P24.42 billion, up from P23.34 billion in 2018, Visayan Electric president and chief executive officer Raul Lucero told the company’s virtual stockholders meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

But the company’s revenue this year is seen to fall by 11.96 percent to P21.5 billion, as energy consumption of commercial and industrial users drops.

In April 2020 alone, the firm’s energy sales plunged 25.40 percent, driven by a massive consumption drop among its commercial and industrial users due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The ECQ has shut most businesses in Cebu since late March this year, crippling economic activities.

Lucero said the firm sold a total of 3,501 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2019, up 10.82 percent from 3,109 GWh in 2018.

In 2019, the Aboitiz Group-controlled power distribution firm was serving a total of 450,087 customers—residential, corporate and industrial—in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga, and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

Connections across its customer classes grew 2.8 percent last year; streetlights by 4.43 percent; households by 2.97 percent; commercial clients by 1.1 3 percent; and industrial by 4.72 percent.

The firm’s operational cost also rose from P21.28 billion in 2018 to P22.16 billion last year.

Peak demand was recorded in October 2019 at 601 megawatts.

Visayan Electric’s average rates per kilowatt-hour (kWh) were at P10.14 for streetlights, P11.80 for residential, P11.34 for commercial and P9 for industrial users.

The firm expects kWh sales to drop 9.07 percent this year to 3,183 GWh.