April 22, 2020 / 11:18 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Indonesian utility PLN cuts revenue target, seeks to delay debt payments

* Power company PLN cuts revenue target by nearly 15%

* Wants to push back 2020 debt repayments to next year

* Government committed to supporting PLN -FinMin official (Writes through, adds company and government comment)

JAKARTA, April 22 (Reuters) - Indonesian state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has cut its 2020 revenue target and wants to push back debt payments, its chief executive told parliament on Wednesday, citing a coronavirus-related hit to demand.

PLN estimates that its revenue will drop to 257 trillion rupiah ($16.7 billion) this year, down 14.6% from a previous forecast of 301 trillion rupiah.

“Our initial estimate was for our operating income to be at 301 trillion rupiah, but with a 9.7% decrease in demand that becomes 257 trillion rupiah,” said Chief Executive Zulkifli Zaini, adding that every 1% drop in electricity demand cuts PLN’s revenue by 2.8 trillion rupiah.

Electricity demand in the world’s fourth most populous country has declined because of lockdown measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Zaini also told parliament that PLN will postpone projects that have not received funding.

PLN will also seek to delay payment of some of its debt.

Zaini said the company is asking banks if debt repayments due this year can be delayed until next year, adding that it is also in talks with the government over liabilities to the state.

PLN data showed that that the company had about 161 trillion rupiah of short-term liabilities at the end of last June, including short-term bank loans.

Luky Alfirman, head of Finance Ministry’s financing department, said the government is committed to supporting PLN.

Alfirman added that the government’s plan to raise 150 trillion rupiah to help companies to recover from economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak will include support for state companies such as PLN but that details are still being discussed.

Indonesia this month said that it estimates electricity subsidies this year will rise to 59.4 trillion rupiah from 54.8 trillion rupiah budgeted originally. Last year PLN received 52.7 trillion rupiah.

The government announced a $24.9 billion stimulus package last month in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including electricity discounts and waivers. ($1 = 15,480.0000 rupiah) (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini Additional reporting by Gayatri Suroyo and Tabita Diela Writing by Fathin Ungku and Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Christian Schmollinger and David Goodman)

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