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Stabilizing the business, making steady progress in returning to growth

by Adrian T. Elumba | Aug 11, 2017
PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head opens PLDT's 2017 first half results press briefing. PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head opens PLDT's 2017 first half results press briefing. 

PLDT recently reported its unaudited financial and operating results for the first half of 2017 with Consolidated Service Revenues (net of interconnection costs) at Php71.2 billion.

Though 6% lower year on year, service revenues for the first semester indicated that the downward trend of the topline for the past sixquarters had been arrested, with second quarter service revenues levelling off and equaling those of the first quarter at Php35.6 billion. Similarly, quarter on quarter comparisons of other indicators provide further signs that the overall business is stabilizing.
 
  • Consolidated Core Income 2% lower at Php17.4B, but 72% higher than 2H2016
  • Reported Net Income reached Php16.5B, 33% higher than last year, and 119% more than 2H2016
  • Consolidated EBITDA Margin AT 42% from 38% last year excluding gains from asset sales and EBITDA adjustments, Recurring Core Income rose 1% year-on-year to Php11.9B in line with full year guidance of Php21.5B
  • Capex of Php38B to be completed in 2017
  • Consolidated EBITDA rose 4% to Php32B; net of manpower reduction expenses, Consolidated EBITDA up 9%
  • Data, Broadband and Digital Services contributed 46% of Total Service Revenues
PLDT Home and Enterprise continued to set the pace for service revenues, posting double-digit growth rates in the first half of 2017. Home revenues grew 12% to Php15.8 billion, while Enterprise revenues increased 11% to Php16.8 billion.

PLDT Chairman and CEO Manny Pangilinan
 
PLDT Chairman and CEO Manny Pangilinan

“We’ve followed through on the initial gains in our efforts to stabilize the overall business of the Group by stanching the decline of the Wireless Consumer business and sustaining the strong growth of our Home and Enterprise businesses. While it is still early in the game, our focused, collaborative efforts, efficiently utilizing the resources of the entire Group to pursue clearly defined goals have produced encouraging results,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman and CEO of PLDT and Smart Communications.
 
Data, Broadband and Digital Platforms combined were the key growth drivers for all business groups – Home, Enterprise and Wireless Consumer. Net of interconnection costs, this cluster of service revenues grew 11% to Php32.6 billion and represented 46% of the total revenue mix. Mobile internet revenues climbed 18% to Php9.6 billion, Corporate data and data center revenues increased 15% to Php9.7 billion and Fixed home broadband revenues rose 19% to Php8.4 billion.

PLDT CRO Eric Agustin
PLDT CRO Eric Alberto

“Data usage is rising rapidly as our customers – whether individuals or companies – are increasingly adopting multiple digital services, including everything from video entertainment to corporate security solutions. To serve this growing need, we are utilizing our unmatched wired, wireless and digital infrastructure to give customers the best possible data experience,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT Group Chief Revenue Officer.

In the first half of 2017, PLDT continued to roll-out of its fiber optic cable facilities to serve residences and offices in more areas of the country.
 
Under its Smart Fibr Cities program, PLDT expanded the reach of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services in south Metro Manila and east Metro Manila, adding over 370,000 fiber links that can deliver world-class internet service to residences and offices.
 
Meantime, Smart is pursuing its three-year program to roll out LTE in 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by end-2018. “As of end-July, we were about half-way through in north Metro Manila and close to completion in south Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
 
Earlier, Smart had completed the deployment of new LTE facilities as well as additional 3G and 2G base stations in metro Davao and the resort island of Boracay.
 
Meanwhile, digital unit Voyager Innovations is also gaining breakthrough traction in its platforms and services for enterprises and consumers. PayMaya Philippines is leading the adoption of cashless ecosystems by local governments. Cities such as Muntinlupa, Balanga, Malolos, Catbalogan and Tacloban are now using PayMaya cards to disburse financial support and grants, and, to accept payments for services.
 
“We have made steady progress in the first half of this year in stabilizing our overall business and positioning the Group to return to a growth path, largely on the back of data and broadband services. Our Home and Enterprise business units have led the way, in growing for at least six consecutive quarters already, because they have succeeded in executing their digital shift much earlier. We are now focused intently on doing the same for our Wireless Consumer business. The interim results have lent greater confidence in maintaining our guidance for Full Year Recurring Core Income (before exceptionals) at Php21.5 billion,” Pangilinan concluded.

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