PLDT sees better year ahead

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 25 2012 10:32 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2012 04:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said it sees a better year ahead on lower capital expenditures as well as higher revenues due to the upcoming May elections.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in an interview with reporters that 2013 would be a better year than 2012 for the telco because of better cost control, better synergy among the PLDT Group, and the scheduled elections.

“Next year will be a better year,” he stressed.

For his part, PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno pointed out that the company’s budget for capital expenditures would normalize to between 17 and 18 percent of total revenues starting next year.

Nazareno said higher expenditures took its toll on the company’s bottom line after spending over P67 billion the past two years for network modernization and transformation.

Last September, PLDT announced it has completed its two-year P67 billion network upgrade and modernization program way ahead of schedule, tripling the company’s voice and data capacity.

The upgrade brought the PLDT Group’s total fiber assets to 54,000 kilometers, giving it the most extensive and advanced network in the country with over 48,000 kilometers of fiber assets with an additional 6,000 kilometers of fiber-to-the-home, further expanding its long-term evolution (LTE) sites.

Nazareno pointed out that the demand for smartphones would continue to surge next year while the company’s broadband business would continue to expand.

“We are the fastest growing smartphone market,” he said.

PLDT’s profits slipped six percent to P28.7 billion in the first nine months of the year from P30.6 billion in the same period last year on the back of stiffer competition and manpower reduction.