Philippines telecoms operator PLDT blamed a drop in mobile revenue and ARPU in Q1 on intense competition and rising inflation, and highlighted signs of a recovery as the economy reopens, with new offers and 5G adoption driving data usage.

President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio stated in its earnings release PLDT is on track to meet its targets for the rest of 2022, with service revenue expected to post mid-single digit growth.

Net profit increased 56 per cent year-on-year to PHP9.1 billion ($173.4 million) due to asset sales of PHP8.2 billion. Total revenue grew 5 per cent to PHP50.1 billion, led by rises in home broadband (25 per cent to PHP13.6 billion) and its enterprise business (7 per cent higher at to PHP11.6 billion).

Mobile service revenue dropped 7.7 per cent to PHP20.4 billion, as post-paid declined 11.1 per cent to PHP2.4 billion and prepaid 4.9 per cent to PHP17.3 billion.

Fixed wireless turnover declined 30 per cent to PHP600 million.

Capex stood at PHP15.8 billion and PLDT revised its 2022 guidance to PHP85 billion from the original range of PHP76 billion to PHP80 billion.

PLDT deployed nearly 4,700 5G base stations in the year to end-March for a total of around 7,300 sites.

Active data users grew 4.8 per cent to 41.6 million; average monthly data usage increased 14.9 per cent to 8.5GB. The number of unique devices on its 5G network hit 1.58 million.

Total subscribers dipped 2 per cent to 70.3 million as a 2 per cent increase in post-paid to 2.1 million was offset by a loss of 1.5 million prepaid.

Mobile unit Smart prepaid ARPU fell 3.6 per cent to PHP99 and post-paid 4 per cent to PHP786.