PLDT says revenues hit 'all-time high' in 2020 as pandemic pushed data demand

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2021 04:09 PM

The facade of the PLDT building in Makati on May 09, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - PLDT Inc said Thursday telco core income jumped 4 percent to P28.1 billion in 2020 with service revenues from consumer wireless, enterprise and home broadband at an "all-time high" as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed millions of Filipinos to work and attend school online. 

Reported net income jumped 8 percent to P24.3 billion, PLDT said in a disclosure to the stock exchange. 

Demand for internet connectivity to support work-from-home setups and online learning lifted the service revenues last year, the company said. 

Consolidated services revenues rose 9 percent to P171.5 billion, its "highest full-year revenue ever attained" breaching 2019's P157.7 billion, buoyed by data and broadband demand which grew 18 percent to P124.5 billion, the telco said.

Millions of Filipinos were forced to work and study at home when the hard lockdown was imposed in mid-March last year to check the spread of COVID-19.

Consolidated EBITDA rose 7 percent to P88.8 billion due to higher service revenues. The EBITDA margin was at 51 percent in 2020 from 52 percent in 2019.

“Our key learnings from the pandemic can be summed up in two words: Transform and Perform...We have endeavored to keep PLDT at the forefront of digital changes, and we are enabling other companies to similarly adopt the digital mode of doing business," PLDT president and CEO Manuel Pangilinan said. 

Keeping the business going despite the lockdown was part of the group's success during the pandemic, Pangilinan said. Network builds, installation and repairs have commenced once restrictions eased, he added.

PLDT said the bulk of its P71.9 billion capital expenditure was spent on network infrastructure.

Mobile data traffic increased 79 percent in 2020. Active internet users used 8.26 GB per month last year from 6.3 GB in 2019, PLDT said. 
Home broadband, meanwhile posted an 11 percent increase in revenues to P41.4 billion as the demand for connectivity for work-from-home increased, the telco said.

“Despite PLDT’s stellar performance, it is with great relief that we put 2020 behind us. It is tempting to say that we have seen the worst but 2021 comes with its own set of challenges – a worrisome economic outlook, prolonged uncertainty on the pandemic with possible new waves, mutations and a delayed vaccine rollout and of course, the entry of heightened competition from both new and current players," Pangilinan said. 

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