Philippines-based PLDT uncovered a budget overrun estimated at up to PHP48 billion ($866.1 million) and is holding discussions with its main vendors with the aim of reconciling the gap and reducing the expenditure.

In a stock market filing, the operator stated it is conducing an internal forensic review requested by its board and audit committee, adding a preliminary investigation has not found “any fraudulent transactions, procurement anomalies or loss of asset” arising from the capex spending.

The company ramped up network investments over the past four years. PLDT said the excess spending represents about 12.7 per cent of the PHP379 billion capex spent over that period.

Its vendors “expressed flexibility” to meet requests for reductions in outstanding projects, the statement added.

PLDT emphasised its businesses are not impacted by the higher costs, but noted the company will reorganise its management structure and initiate measures to improve its processes and systems to address issues allowing the excess expenditure.

The company committed to keeping network investments elevated next year, funded by sales of tower assets, but capex levels will come down from 2024.

In early November, it said consolidated capex for 2022 could see the figure exceed initial guidance of PHP85 billion.