PLDT, Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan on Wednesday expressed confidence the telecommunications giant will “return to growth” in both revenues and profit this year.
“We’ve made progress last year but our task is by no means, complete… To sum up, 2016 was an extremely tough year for PLDT. 2017 was a year to stabilize the business and 2018 is when we should see a return to growth in revenues and to profitability,” PLDT President, Chairman, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting on June 13.
PLDT netted P6.97 billion in the first quarter, up 41% from the same period last year, while core income jumped 14% to P6.07 billion in the first three months of 2018. It has set a guidance of core recurring income of P24 billion for this year. Net income attributable to parent for 2017 was P13.37 billion, while 2016 had a reported income of P20 billion.
Mr. Pangilinan said the company will be focusing on sustaining the momentum of the wireless business, continuing the growth of its home and enterprise segment, and raising level of network services. PLDT will spend as much as about P58 billion this year for massive network infrastructure spending.
PLDT’s wireless business showed improvement in the first quarter, the first time in eight years. Smart Communications, Inc., TNT and Sun contributed P14.8 billion in service revenues in the first quarter, 2% higher than the same period a year ago, driven by higher data revenues.
Mr. Pangilinan said the company will continue to encourage subscribers to use data, particularly with its sports content offerings. PLDT offers the National Basketball Association league pass, and a free limited YouTube use. It is expanding its promos into e-sports content.
PLDT also expects bigger contribution of Home and Enterprise to overall growth. PLDT Enterprise revenues increased by 15% in the first quarter of 2018, boosted by cloud infrastructure and managed information technology (IT) services revenues.
The company is also continuing its fourth generation (4G) rollout and its doubling its fiber capacity.
“In fixed line, we will set the pace for our fiber to the home buildout, and convert our DSL subscribers to fiber-like broadband. We’ve completed our 3G rollout, and should substantially finish our 4G network, with competitive speed and coverage,” Mr. Pangilinan said in his remarks during the stockholders’ meeting.
PLDT is aiming to double its fiber and hybrid fiber broadband capacity to over 2.2 million ports, with about 650,000 of the additional ports for fiber and another 550,000 for hybrid fiber broadband.
Smart is also targeting to double the number of long-term evolution (LTE) base stations to about 17,700 and increase the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to over 6,800. The wireless subsidiary of PLDT also announced that it is preparing to have a fifth-generation (5G)-ready network by 2020.
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