June 23, 2018, 5:55 am
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Telco sees return to profitability in ’18

Despite stiff competition,  PLDT Inc. expects to return to profitability this year driven by the growth of its wireless, home and enterprises businesses.

Manuel Pangilinan,  PLDT president and chairman, expressed confidence the company would be able to manage its finances despite the weak peso, and still be on track to achieve the guidance of recurring core profit of P24 billion this year.

 “(The year) 2016 was extremely a tough year for PLDT; 2017 was a year to stabilize the business and in 2018, we should see return to growth in revenues and to profitability,”  Panglinan said at the company’s annual stockholders meeting in Makati City yesterday.

 Panglinan said  PLDT is maintaining  its targets this year.

 “We expect service revenues to rise by about 4 percent and our recurring core income to grow by between P1 billion to P2 billion to P23 to P24 billion in 2018 excluding the impact of Voyager Innovations,”  he said,

Last year, PLDT consolidated service revenues stood P143.5 billion and its recurring profit of around P22-billion.

These will be achieved by focusing on four critical areas, he said.

“First we must raise the momentum of our wireless business. We must get customers to use our data service through compelling content. Second, the  home and enterprise businesses will continue to power PLDT’s overall growth. Third, we will continue to expand and improve our networks and make them the best. Fourth (and)  at the center of all these changes (are)  the customers and the delivery of digital experiences,” Pangilinan said.
 PLDT has allotted P58 billion in capex this year with a little over 50 percent to be invested in fixed line. The higher allocation for fixed line will support the more aggressive rollout of fiber broadband to address the strong demand for fiber service.
“We expect that capex for 2019-2020 will stay at approximately the 2018 level,” PLDT said.
For the first quarter of 2018, PLDT’s net income rose 39 percent to P6.9 billion.  Consolidated core income grew  13 percent to P6 billion, while consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) amounted to P16.5 billion.

PLDT is processing the regularization of 7,306 workers in compliance with an order of the Department of Labor and Employment issued last month.

Ray Espinosa, PLDT Group chief corporate service officer, said the company has filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA) after DOLE rejected its petition to reverse the order.

Even while the CA is reviewing its   appeal, PLDT  has started the identification process and physical test on  these employees.
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