Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu forecast a low single-digit drop in full year revenue given the impact of community quarantine restrictions, as the operator reported a H1 decline which was lower than predicted in May.

Cu said the company sees growth opportunities in the home broadband and ICT spaces, as higher demand for internet connectivity and cloud solutions are expected since companies have been forced to embrace remote working and fast-track digitalisation efforts.

“Despite the challenges, we are confident in our effective cost management efforts, to keep EBITDA at around the 50 per cent level, ensuring the sustainability of our operations and services,” he stated.

Net profit in the first half declined 5 per cent year-on-year to PHP11.5 billion ($234.1 million), while operating revenue fell 3 per cent to PHP78.8 billion mainly due to a decline in prepaid top-ups and post-paid acquisition during a lockdown period.

Mobile service turnover fell 5 per cent to PHP51.8 billion as double-digit drops in voice and SMS offset a 5 per cent rise in data to PHP35.8 billion due to customers spending more time online. Mobile data accounted for 69 per cent of total mobile service revenue compared with 63 per cent in H1 2019.

Average data usage jumped 51 per cent to 5.7GB a month.

Post-paid subscriber numbers increased 2 per cent to 2.67 million but ARPU fell 5 per cent to PHP815; prepaid subscribers fell 14 per cent to 77.5 million, blamed on lockdown measures, with ARPU down 16 per cent to PHP90.

While capex for the first half was 10 per cent higher than in H1 2019 at PHP20.9 billion, the operator lowered its full year guidance to PHP50.3 billion from the original target of PHP63 billion, due to delays caused by community quarantine.