PLDT's net income plunges 33% to PHP 13.4 billion in 2017

Thursday 8 March 2018 | 13:54 CET | News
Philippines operator PLDT reported consolidated service revenues (net of interconnection costs) of PHP 143.5 billion for the twelve months of 2017. Though 3 percent lower than in 2016, service revenues stabilized in 2017, as the decline in quarterly wireless revenues moderated in the course of the year, PLDT said. Reported net income for 2017 declined by 33 percent to PHP 13.4 billion. This was mainly due to non-core capex-related expenses of PHP 16.7 billion in connection with the operator’s transformation initiatives, including accelerated depreciation and loss due to a swap of network elements in certain part of the country, resulting from PLDT’s network upgrade, the company also said.

The Home and Enterprise Business Groups led the way, increasing their revenues to PHP 33 billion and PHP 34.1 billion, respectively, posting growth rates of 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Their combined service revenues accounted for 47 percent of total consolidated service revenues, surpassing the 41 percent contribution of Wireless Consumer Group. Wireless Consumer Group revenues declined by 11 percent to PHP 58.9 billion in 2017. 

Consolidated EBITDA reached PHP 66.2 billion for 2017, which represents an increase of 8 percent year-on-year, while EBITDA margin rose to 44 percent from 39 percent in 2016.

Revenues from data, broadband and digital platforms continued to power the growth of all business units – Home, Enterprise and Wireless Consumer. Combined, these services grew 11 percent year-on-year to PHP 67 billion, and their share of consolidated service revenues rose from 41 percent to 47 percent.

Mobile internet revenues increased 17 percent to PHP 20 billion, as ownership of smartphones grew to over 50 percent of PLDT’s mobile subscriber base. In 2017, PLDT increased the coverage of its fiber-powered fixed broadband network by 1.2 million homes passed to over 4 million homes passed by year-end. In the same period, it doubled its fixed broadband capacity to over 1 million lines. 

On mobile, Smart Communications more than doubled the number of LTE base stations on its cellular network to over 8,700 and increased the number of cell sites equipped with LTE base stations by roughly 60 percent to over 4,300. Smart added more 3G base stations (up to about 9,850) and also more cell sites equipped with 3G base stations to about 7,500. 

In 2018, PLDT plans to double its FTTH and hybrid fiber capacity to over 2.2 million ports. By 2019, virtually all of PLDT’s 1.2 million copper-based DSL subscribers will be migrated to fiber-fast internet. In the meantime, PLDT intends to expand its fiber broadband coverage to 5.1 million homes passed by end-2018. On mobile, Smart plans to double the number of LTE base stations to about 17,700 and raise the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to over 6,800.

In 2017, capital expenditures (capex) amounted to PHP 40 billion, or 26 percent of consolidated service revenues. About 67 percent of this amount was allotted for the mobile network while 33 percent went to the fixed line network and business requirements.

For PLDT Home, PLDT reported a 13 percent growth in revenues in 2017, mainly boosted by the 12 percent growth in subscriptions during that period. PLDT’s deployment of additional fiber lines added about 431,000 new customers to PLDT Home’s subscriber base.

Revenues generated by the Individual Consumer Group declined year-on-year by 11 percent to PHP 58.9 billion in 2017. Similarly, the subscriber count of Smart, TNT and Sun levelled off at around 58 million in the last three quarters of 2017. Mobile data revenues grew 5 percent year-on-year to PHP 23.5 billion.

PLDT has also announced that its Enterprise Business Group delivered double-digit growth rates across all business pillars. Its data and ICT revenues combined grew 11 percent to PHP 21.4 billion in 2017. ICT alone grew by 26 percent to PHP 3.3 billion.

For 2018, PLDT expects its recurring core income to rise between PHP 1 and PHP 2 billion to about PHP 23 to PHP 24 billion, on the back of anticipated growth in service revenues in 2018 by around 4 percent.

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