Philippines telecoms operator PLDT booked a modest revenue increase in the first quarter of the year, as growth in mobile gathered pace due to data and subscriber gains.
Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT’s chairman and CEO (pictured, centre), said two things stood out in its Q1 results: “First, close to 70 per cent of service revenues are now from data and broadband, underscoring the fact that our secular shift to data and digital services is moving at a faster clip reflecting our ability to attract more data customers and migrate our legacy subscribers to data.”
“Second, our individual wireless business, which started to take off in the last quarter of 2018, gained more momentum in the first quarter this year, surpassing even our expectations.”
Pangilinan added the operator is transitioning its focus and efforts from a return to growth into initiatives to take the business to the next level, noting “there are still rough patches. But our agenda now is clearly to elevate our game”.
Net profit declined 3 per cent year-on-year to PHP6.71 billion ($128 million) in Q1. Consolidated service revenue increased 5 per cent to PHP39.6 billion, with mobile up 4 per cent to PHP20.5 billion.
Data revenue rose 38 per cent to PHP11.6 billion, accounting for 56 per cent of mobile service revenue, while SMS and voice declined 32 per cent to PHP6.62 billion.
Its enterprise business group booked a 9 per cent increase in revenue to PHP9.8 billion.
The company’s mobile arm Smart Communications added 5.83 million mobile subscribers year-on-year to end March with 63.95 million. Prepaid grew 10.6 per cent to 61.6 million and post-paid fell 4 per cent to 2.36 million.
Prepaid ARPU dropped 6.1 per cent to PHP77 with post-paid down 5.6 per cent to PHP796.
Capex in the quarter nearly doubled from Q1 2018 to PHP12.2 billion. The company plans to increase capex in 2019 to PHP78.4 billion from PHP58.4 billion in 2018, representing 40 per cent of service revenue compared with 38 per cent.
It added around 1,700 LTE base stations during the quarter, raising the total to 18,000.
For the full year, PLDT expects single-digit revenue growth, with increases at its consumer business accelerating and its enterprise group posting double-digit gains.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back