Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. said on Monday net income fell 9 percent in the first nine months on higher manpower reduction expenses and lower earnings from its cellular business.
The country’s largest telecom company reported a net income of P25.3 billion in the January-to-September period, down from P28 billion year-on-year.
PLDT’s net profit dropped 17 percent to P6.61 billion in the third quarter from last year’s P7.93 billion.
Excluding foreign exchange transactions and other non-recurring items, core profit hit P27.08 billion, down 5 percent from P28.86 billion last year. Third-quarter core profit amounted to P8.15 billion, down 6.6 percent from P8.73 billion last year.
The company affirmed its profit guidance of P35 billion this year.
“We are seeing some encouraging signs of progress… The third quarter is seasonally ‘soft’ yet our revenues have shown a general improvement, both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. This is even more evident if we strip out the ‘drag’ of our legacy NLD/ILD businesses,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
Consolidated revenue was flat at P127.87 billion in the first nine months of the year from P127.32 billion last year.
The company’s wireless service revenues decreased 3 percent to P83.23 billion in the January-to-September period from P86.12 billion last year.
Fixed line service revenues, meanwhile, climbed 5 percent to P43.65 billion from P41.47 billion last year.
The PLDT Group’s total cellular subscriber base at the end of the period stood at 67 million. Of the total, Smart had 24.6 million subscribers; TNT ended with 27.7 million subscribers; and there were 14.7 million Sun Cellular subscribers.
The group’s combined postpaid cellular subscriber base hit over 2.9 million at the end of the period, while the combined prepaid base stood at 64.1 million. Combined broadband subscriber base reached 5 million at the end of September.
“We are proceeding briskly with our network enhancements as evidenced by our capex levels. We are talking approximately $3.7 billion in the last five years, ending 2014, and over$900 million this year. Our capex spend for the last six years including 2015 will therefore sum up to about $4.6 billion,” Pangilinan said.
“That is no small change. We believe these expenditures are vital in order to provide the level of service required by the market and for PLDT to be robustly competitive for the future. These investments, as well as our growing portfolio of partnerships with the best in the global digital space, will serve to fortify our position as the country’s leading digital services provider and enable us in the emerging digital landscape,” he added.