PLDT sees 'better' 2nd half of 2012

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 15 2012 08:51 AM | Updated as of Jun 15 2012 04:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) group sees a “better” second-half performance compared to the same period last year amid intensified competition in the telecommunication industry.

“The second half this year will be better than the second half last year and should improve by 2013,” PLDT President Napoleon Nazareno said.

The group’s broadband business, according to Nazareno, continues to register strong growth with PLDT’s combined subscriber base having grown by 45 percent to 2.9 million at the end of 2011.

Smart Bro subscribers grew to 1.6 million, PLDT DSL subscribers rose to nearly 743,000 and Digitel recorded over 551,000 subscribers.

“At the end of April 2012, our broadband subscriber base already exceeded the 3-million mark,” Nazareno said.

Revenues from broadband rose 18 percent year-on-year to P18.8 billion in 2011. The growth momentum was sustained in the first quarter of 2012 with a 34 percent year-on-year increase in broadband revenues to P5.8 billion.

Broadband revenues account for about 14 percent of PLDT consolidated service revenues and have potential to become even more significant in the future. Part of this growth will come from mobile Internet browsing, the revenues from which are expected to climb as social networking keeps growing in popularity and as smartphones and other Web-capable devices become more pervasive.

Given its substantial network investments, PLDT is well positioned to harness the potentials of broadband and to maintain its market leadership in this area, Nazareno said.

In the wireless business, PLDT’s combined cellular subscriber base rose by 40 percent or 18.1 million to 63.7 million at the end of 2011. Part of the increase was accounted for by the inclusion of Digitel’s 14.7 million subscribers.

PLDT’s combined postpaid subscriber base of 1.9 million at the end of 2011 is the largest in the market, Nazareno said.

“At the end of April 2012, our combined cellular subscriber base grew to 66.7 million, with net additions of 3 million subscribers from the end of 2011,” he added.

Wireless service revenues declined by P2 billion or 2 percent year-on-year to P102.1 billion in 2011. Though revenues from wireless broadband improved year-on-year, the growth was not enough to offset declines in voice and SMS revenues resulting from the competitive landscape that included the popularity of unlimited offers.

For the first quarter of 2012, wireless service revenues rose by 15 percent year-on-year to P28.9 billion with the inclusion of Digitel.

PLDT said its acquisition of Digitel gives it a better platform to make the business go forward.

“Moving forward, we face the delicate task of managing the competitive landscape while keeping a watchful eye on profitability and the delivery of customer satisfaction. Within our businesses, we need to maximize our traditional services even as we aggressively build up our broadband and other new businesses, and gear up for the emerging world of multimedia services.

“We are working hard to integrate Digitel as quickly and seamlessly as possible in order to enhance our ability to deliver better services to our subscribers. We are working harder to understand our customer intimately in order to anticipate his needs and offer the most compelling range of products and services,” Nazareno said.