The Philippines’ largest operator PLDT reported its net profit and revenue were stable in Q1 from a year ago as continued gains in data revenue couldn’t offset declines in SMS and international voice.
The operator’s net profit was almost unchanged from a year ago at PHP9.438 billion ($210 million), while overall revenue was also flat at PHP42.6 billion. Service revenue declined 2 per cent to PHP40.5 billion, with wireless turnover falling 4 per cent to PHP27.9 billion and fixed-line revenue up 1 per cent to PHP15.9 billion.
The drop in service revenue was mainly driven bu an 8 per cent drop in prepaid revenue to PHP18.7 billion. Postpaid revenue was up 11 per cent to PHP5.7 billion.
Mobile broadband revenue increased 10 per cent to PHP4.8 billion and now represents 17 per cent of total wireless revenue.
Wireless and fixed data and broadband revenues expanded 11 per cent to PHP11.2 billion and accounted for 27 per cent of total service revenues. Data and broadband revenues now exceed SMS revenues.
Domestic mobile voice revenue dipped 1 per cent to PHP8.9 billion, while SMS and VAS revenue dropped 50 per cent to PHP10.2 billion, with SMS volumes decreasing 15 per cent.
International voice revenue, accounting for 11 per cent of total wireless revenue, fell 22 per cent to PHP3 billion. Including fixed and mobile, international voice dropped 19 per cent to PHP5.2 billion and contributed 13 per cent to service revenues from 16 per cent in Q1 last year.
“While our core revenue sources undergo this transition phase where the erosion of our high-margin legacy businesses still outpaces the growth of our newer initiatives for now, we are taking significant steps to ensure that we are ready and prepared for the digital future,” said PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan.
This future, he said, will require looking at customers from a different set of lenses, as both individuals and enterprises embrace a digital life.
The operator, which has a 60 per cent share of the country’s mobile market, expanded its postpaid customer base 18 per cent year-on-year to 2.9 million. But prepaid users fell 2 per cent to 66.7 million.
Its broadband subscriber base increased 27 per cent to 4.5 million over the past year.
Despite a 2 per cent fall in its EBITDA to PHP19.3 billion, its EBITDA margin remained stable at 48 per cent.