PLDT 5-mth core net profit rises

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2008 01:07 AM | Updated as of Jun 11 2008 09:07 AM

Reuters

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co, the country's most valuable firm, said on Tuesday its core net profit in January to May rose from a year ago but rising food and fuel prices could cut revenue this year.

"Core earnings are doing well, ahead of last year," PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters regarding the firm's performance in the first five months.

He did not give exact core net income figures for the first five months. In the first quarter, core net profit was 9.3 billion pesos ($209.3 million), up 11 percent from a year earlier.

The company, a unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co Ltd (0142.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), said it maintained its 2008 core earnings guidance of 37 billion pesos, up 5 percent from last year.

But rising fuel and food prices as well as a volatile peso <PHP=>, down more than 7 percent so far this year, could trim the firm's revenues and core net profit.

Healthy consumption spending, fuelled by strong remittances from Filipinos working overseas, is the traditional driver of PLDT earnings.

"We face the rest of the year with rising inflation threatening to reduce our revenues and increase our cost," Pangilinan told the company's shareholders.

But the company continued to gain wireless subscribers, with net additional subscribers tracking PLDT's goal of 1.5 million in the second quarter, Pangilinan said.

PLDT President Napoleon Nazareno said the company added 2.6 million wireless subscribers in the first five months of the year, with total subscribers now at 32.6 million.