PLDT's Pangilinan hints at leaving 'soon' as CEO

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2021 06:45 PM

PLDT's Pangilinan hints at leaving 'soon' as CEO 1
PLDT Group CEO Manny V. Pangilinan. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA – As PLDT Inc reported its highest service revenues on record, Manuel Pangilinan hinted it may soon be time for him to relinquish his position as the telco giant's CEO.

"There's always a time to give up, and I think that time is soon," said Pangilinan who also sits as PLDT chairman and president. 

In previous years when the Philippine telco giant struggled with falling or stagnant revenues or profit, Pangilinan was often quoted saying he would only name a successor if the company was "out of the woods."

Unlike its main competitor, Globe Telecom, which reported a drop in profit last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLDT managed to boost its core net income by 4 percent to P28.1 billion while reported net income grew 8 percent growth to P24.3 billion.

PLDT reported the highest service revenues on record of P171.5 billion or an increase of 9 percent from a year ago, as it saw a surge in income from both individual and home customers as COVID-19 lockdown protocols pushed up demand for data.

Pangilinan said the company aims to keep its record-high service revenues this year with the individual and home customers seen driving growth.

PLDT is also eyeing to boost its telco core income to P29 to P30 billion, he said. Pangilinan said PLDT booked profits higher than P30 billion before.

"So are we capable of reaching that kind of level? We should, I think we should--given the momentum that has been accomplished so far. We should push it forward to show that we are able to reach what we have been able to reach before," he added.

PLDT is also undertaking its biggest capital expenditure drive at P88 to P92 billion, which is 23 to 28 percent higher than its capex last year.

Pangilinan said this would mostly go into network improvements and expansions to meet an expected rise in mobile data traffic, and to accelerate home broadband installation, and roll out its 5G network.

Aside from the core business, Pangilinan also touched on other growth areas for PLDT which includes offering digital solutions to its enterprise clients, including micro, small, and medium companies.

"We have also invested on IoT (internet of things) we see growth in this in the next few years. As more devices are out there, there's a need for a lot of enterprises to actually monitor these devices," said PLDT chief revenue officer Al Panlilio. 

Pangilinan meanwhile gave a cautious outlook on the company's prospects.

"I don't think we'll completely get out of the woods, I think there's quite a bit of horizon ahead of us. The board today, quite happy with the results, but reminded us that we could do better," he added.

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