PLDT 9-mo profit marginally higher

PLDT Inc. on Tuesday reported marginal nine-month income growth amid a tough economic environment.

In a disclosure, the company said that net income for the period amounted to P27.9 billion, up 1 percent from P27.5 billion a year earlier.

Core income, excluding the impact of asset sales and Maya Innovations Holdings (formerly Voyager Innovations Holdings), reached P26.1 billion, up 2 percent from P25.6 billion.

PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan maintained a positive view, saying “the company has done reasonably well against a tough inflationary environment, relatively high interest rates and a slowing economic growth.”

“In this regard, we are guiding [a] full-year core net income of P34 billion, compared with P33.3 billion in 2022,” he added.

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PLDT’s gross service revenues amounted to P149.8 billion, up 3 percent from the previous year, while its consolidated service revenues, net of interconnect costs, grew by P1.1 billion to what the firm said was an “all-time high” of P142.3 billion.

For the third quarter alone, consolidated service revenues climbed by P300 million to P47.8 billion compared to the second quarter. Data and broadband, which grew by 4 percent to P116.9 billion, contributed 82 percent of consolidated service revenues.

“Now more than ever, we are witnessing how the power of technology and digital services impact Filipinos’ standard of living, with innovations bringing convenience, comfort, productivity and security to improve overall quality of life,” PLDT President Alfredo Panlilio said.

“Our mission at PLDT is to enable our countrymen with the tools and connectivity needed to enhance their digital lifestyles,” he added.

By segment, Home’s fiber-only service revenues grew by 10 percent to P39.3 billion in the first nine months. It accounted for 87 percent of total Home revenues of P45.3 billion, which were 2 percent from a year earlier.

PLDT’s total fiber subscribers as of end-September 2023 stood at 3.14 million, with 210,000 fiber net additions for the first nine months.

As of end-September 2023, PLDT’s total number of fiber ports rose to 6.15 million, covering over 18,000 barangay (villages) nationwide.

The B2B (business to business) arm of the PLDT Group continued its growth trend, reaching P34.8 billion in service revenues, driven by a significant growth in its ICT (information and communications technology) business and its fixed and wireless solutions.

PLDT’s Individual wireless segment posted revenues of P60.6 billion for the period, higher year on year by P300 million, as mobile data revenues grew by 5 percent to P52.4 billion.

The company’s capital expenditure (capex) guidance for the year remains at P80 billion to P85 billion, including about P11 billion of the P33-billion capex commitments from prior years, net of advances.

Capex for the first nine months of 2023 amounted to P55.3 billion, lower than last year’s P67.3 billion.

The PLDT Group said it had further expanded its fiber footprint to over 1.1 million cable kilometers — over 0.2 million cable kilometers of international fiber and about 0.9 million cable kilometers of domestic fiber — as of end-September 2023. The number of homes passed reached more than 17.3 million homes in 69 percent of the country’s municipalities and towns.

PLDT’s fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s 73,800 base stations deployed nationwide. Smart’s network covers around 97 percent of the population, the telco said.

PLDT shares fell by P15.00, or 1.2 percent, to P1,230 each on Tuesday amid a 0.88-percent rise in the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index.

Mike Ibanoz

Mike Ibanoz is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent the better part of two decades covering gadgets and apps, and helping people make smarter tech decisions.

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