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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

PLDT says back on growth path, as 1Q earnings climb 2 pct

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) on Tuesday said its net income rose in the first quarter, signaling the company’s return to its growth path this year.

The country's largest telecom company reported a net income of P9.4 billion in the January to March period, up two percent from P9.2 billion in the same three months of last year.

Excluding foreign exchange transactions and other non-recurring items, core profit hit P9.8 billion, also up two percent from P9.6 billion in 2013.

PLDT said the first-quarter profit growth was due mainly to higher service revenues and equity share in earnings of subsidiaries.

“The structural shift in our revenue mix continues, wherein growing revenues from our data businesses replace those from our legacy businesses such as NLD, and fixed and wireless international voice," Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chairman said. NLD refers to the national long distance voice service.

Consolidated revenue climbed three percent to P41.2 billion from P39.9 billion last year.

Pangilinan attributed the growth in service revenues to the 22 percent rise in broadband and data revenues, which more than made up for the two percent decline in legacy revenues and a similar drop in combined local exchange carrier, cellular domestic voice and SMS revenues.

Total broadband, data and internet revenues climbed 24 percent year-on-year to P7.6 billion, with its share to total revenue at 18 percent.

The PLDT Group’s combined broadband subscriber base stood at 3.6 million at end-March. Smart Communications brought in two million, while Sun Cellular had 548,000. PLDT's fixed broadband subscribers contributed another million.

Wireless service revenues increased two percent year-on-year to P28.9 billion, buoyed by the continued rise in both non-SMS data and cellular voice revenues.

The PLDT Group’s total cellular subscriber base hit 70.5 million at the end of the first quarter. Of the total, Smart had 25.9 million under its mainstream Smart brands, value brand Talk ‘N Text ended with 29.5 million, and Sun Cellular, 15.1 million.

"Our revenue mix remains dynamic. Our task is to manage the interplay among our businesses by pushing those sectors which are growing and stable, while maximizing the long tail of our legacy segments. Given the company’s performance in the first quarter of 2014 and the outlook for the rest of the year, I can say that PLDT is firmly back on the growth path, and on track to meet our core net income guidance of P39.5 billion for the full year,” Pangilinan said.

Napoleon L. Nazareno, president and chief executive of PLDT and Smart, said the company continues to invest in its network to provide “quality of experience to our customers.”

"As part of our vision of ‘broadbanding the nation’, we are deploying the latest digital, all-IP technologies that will enable us to deliver products and services that respond to various speed and volume requirements to our subscribers. Moreover, we are building up scale in order to achieve efficiencies that will lower the cost of providing our services and help strengthen the international competitiveness of the country,” Nazareno said.

For this year, PLDT's capital expenditures would be in the range of P31-32 billion or about 18-20 percent of service revenues.

Capex in the first quarter alone amounted to P2.2 billion compared with P3.1 billion in the same period last year.

On-going network initiatives include expanding 3G and 4G/LTE coverage, increasing the group’s fiber footprint which now stands at nearly 85,000 kilometers, continued integration of the Smart and Sun networks, as well as projects to enhance the group’s multimedia capabilities.

- Interaksyon

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