PLDT says telco core income up 12 pct to P17-B in first half of 2022

Jessica Fenol and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2022 04:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2022 06:52 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - PLDT Inc on Thursday said home broadband contributed significantly to its first half earnings which is up by 12 percent to P17 billion, defying numerous economic challenges.

Consolidated service revenues also rose by 5 percent to an "all-time high" of P94.3 billion, the telco said in a disclosure to the stock exchange. Consolidated service revenues hit P47.9 billion in the second quarter. 

Its fiber-only home revenues grew 62 percent to P23.2 billion, while the total home revenue rose 24 percent to P28.18 billion, it added.

Data and broadband grew 10 percent to P74.9 billion in the first half, which contributed 79 percent of the consolidated service revenues, PLDT said.

PLDT Chief Financial Officer Anabelle Chua said the number of broadband subscribers jumped to over 4 million, up by 3 percent from the end of 2021. But mobile subscribers slightly decreased to 69.4 million, or by 3 percent from end of 2021.

The rising inflation, which is changing the way consumers spend their money, is a challenge, PLDT Consumer Business Group Head Francis Flores said.

Inflation quickened to 6.1 percent in June, which is prompting cash-strapped Filipinos to seek value for money products and to make the most out of their salaries. 

"We're seeing lesser frequencies of loading. Consumers are stretching their load," Flores said.

Downgrading promo plans, reducing data use and less frequent top ups are among the cost-cutting measures observed by the telco, he said.

Managing costs is key to sustaining growth in the second half amid rising inflation, PLDT chairman Manny Pangilinan said.

"We expect stronger headwinds in the second half, with higher inflation impacting our customers' pockets as well as our own operating costs. With so much pressure on growth, it is imperative that we stay focused on our strategic initiatives and managing costs," he said.

Pangilinan said telco core income is expected to hit P33 billion for the full year. 

PLDT is "on track" to meet its 2022 targets led by home broadband and Enterprise businesses, with the Wireless unit also expected to benefit from the continued economic recovery, PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio said. 

"Improved customer experience is one of the key transformational goals in PDLT's aspirational 2025 vision and strategy, under which the company is also establishing new ways of working and a much higher pace of execution," he said.

PLDT beefed up its domestic fiber network with the US-Transpacific Jupiter cable system. It is expected to increase the telco's international capacity 40 Terabit/s, to a total of about 60 Terabit/s to the US and Japan, it said.

"All these are in support of our mission to provide better connectivity for all in an enhanced digital ecosystem, accelerating Filipinos' pivot to their digital lifestyles," Panlilio said.

PLDT in April announced the sale and leaseback agreement of its 5,907 towers for P77 billion. It has so far completed the sale of 4,025 towers or 68 percent of the total portfolio for sale.

Meanwhile, Voyager Innovations also launched the group's digital bank Maya Bank. PayMaya rebranded to Maya in April. Maya Business was also recently relaunched. 

As of the end of June, Maya has 50 million registered users, while over 650,000 customers have opened a Maya Save account, the telco said.

In terms of fixed broadband, total subscribers reached 3.2 million in the first half, PLDT said. Active data users reached 41.9 million during the period, it added.

The number of 5G devices on the network also breached the 2 million mark, or 80 percent higher than the end of 2021, PLDT said.

The company also said it provided aid to victims of the Luzon quake.

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