PLDT Inc. said Thursday net income rose 16 percent in the second quarter from a year ago as many workers required connectivity while working from home at the height of the community quarantine designed to contain COVID-19.
The country’s largest telecom company said net profit amounted to P6.44 billion in the April-to-June period, higher than P5.51 billion it booked in the same period last year.
The figure brought PLDT’s first-half net income to P12.42 billion, up by 1 percent from P12.23 billion in the same period last year.
Core net income amounted to P12.86 billion in the first half, up by 5 percent from P13.86 billion a year earlier.
“We are obviously pleased that our numbers have held up well despite the challenging times, and we are hopeful that we can maintain a bottom line similar to 2019. But more importantly, we are happy that we have been able to provide uninterrupted, essential communications services to our countrymen,“ PLDT chairman, president and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said.
“This pandemic has underscored how staying connected is crucial to everyone’s lives. We are social creatures by nature and thankfully, technology has made it possible to keep in touch, even during a lockdown,” he said.
PLDT posted total service revenues of P82.8 billion in the first half, higher by 8 percent compared to the same period last year.
The company said quarantine restrictions starting mid-March trimmed service revenues to P41.3 billion in the second quarter, slightly lower than P41.5 billion in revenues posted in the first quarter 2020, but still 7 percent higher year-on-year.
Data and broadband revenues reached P59 billion, up by 18 percent year-on-year. The consumer wireless individual business group continued to set the pace, growing 16 percent from a year ago to P39.8 billion on the back of continued strong growth of wireless data usage.
PLDT Home revenues grew 7 percent to P19.6 billion despite the operational constraints on its ability to install new connections by quarantine restrictions.
PLDT Enterprise’s service revenues increased 5 percent to P20.3 billion.
“Our strong performance will allow us to further boost our already significant investments. These investments, which total some Php260 billion over the past five years, enabled our networks to carry all the additional traffic during these past few months and also to bring new technologies such as 5G which we launched just last week,” Pangilinan said.
“Given that our network rollout efforts have regained momentum, we are levelling up our target capital expenditures for 2020 back up to about P70 billion. The balance of our original P83 billion capex budget will be spent next year,” he said.
PLDT continued its network expansion program despite the pandemic conditions. The company extended the reach of its fixed broadband service to cover some 7.8 million homes in the first half of 2020, up 8 percent from end-2019.
The total number of available fiber-powered ports increased 5 percent to 3.67 million, with 1.6 million available for new customers.
Total footprint of PLDT’s fiber optic network grew 11 percent to about 358,700 kilometers―the country’s most extensive digital data infrastructure.
Smart also expanded its mobile data network on 4G/LTE and 3G. In the first half of 2020, Smart added 2,500 LTE base stations, raising the total by over 10 percent from end-2019 to over 27,100. This included about 1,100 LTE base stations that were installed from end-March to June. The number of 3G base stations also increased by about 1,200, bringing the total to 15,000.
Smart’s 4G and 3G mobile data service exceeded 95 percent of the country’s population.
“Our promise is this―to keep improving and upgrading your connections so that all faces of life―be it work, education, family, health, business―will benefit,” Pangilinan said
Meanwhile, PLDT announced the appointment of multi-awarded, international financial journalist Cathy Yang as its new group head of corporate communications.
Yang will replace Ramon Isberto, who served as public affairs head of PLDT. Isberto served PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications for 25 years.
Yang, who served most recently as anchor and managing editor of the ABS-CBN News Channel, will serve as communication strategist and advisor of PLDT’s top management team.
She will also oversee the communications needs of the broader MVP Group of Companies, of which PLDT is part. She takes on the rank of first vice president and will be part of PLDT’s top management team.
“We welcome Cathy into the senior management ranks of PLDT and Smart. Cathy is an excellent communicator and a journalist of unquestioned integrity. Her extensive experience as a financial and media person, here and abroad, will add a new dimension to our communication strategy in articulating and presenting who we are and how we perform. She will bring our era of communication into the digital space. Again, a warm welcome to Cathy,” said Pangilinan.
“It’s a privilege to have a reputable, experienced and globally-acclaimed executive as part of our team,” said Alfredo Panlilio, president and chief executive of Smart.