Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) booked a two percent growth in earnings amid strong revenues in the first quarter of the year. PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno said in a press briefing that the company’s net income amounted to P9.38 billion from January to March this year or P201 million higher compared to P9.18 billion in the same period last year. The higher earnings was traced to the rise in core income as well as the increase in manpower rightsizing program (MRP) expenses in the first quarter offsetting higher foreign exchange and derivative losses amounting close to P800 million.
He said total revenues of the PLDT Group rose four percent to P42.54 billion in the first quarter of the year from P40.96 billion in the same period last year. “The growth momentum we saw in 2013 carried into the first quarter of 2014,” Nazareno stressed. He pointed out that consolidated service revenues climbed three percent to P41.22 billion in the first quarter compared to P39.97 billion in the same quarter last year. The company’s expenses grew five percent to P30.38 billion from P29.04 billion. Consolidated free cash flow for the first three months of 2014 remained robust at P10.8 billion, higher P2.9 billion year-on-year.
Nazareno reported that the PLDT Group’s capital expenditures in the first quarter declined 29 percent to P2.2 billion from P3.1 billion in the same quarter last year. However, he said the group has earmarked between P31 billion and P32 billion for its capital expenditures this year from P29 billion last year as a result of the damages caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda. On-going network initiatives, he said, include expanding 3G and 4G or long term evolution (LTE) coverage; increasing the group’s fiber footprint now standing at nearly 85,000 kilometers; continued integration of the Smart and Sun networks, as well as projects to enhance the group’s multi-media capabilities.
The PLDT Group’s subscriber base reached 76.2 million including 70.5 million cellular subscribers consisting of Smart Communications Inc. with 25.9 million, Talk ‘N Text ended with 29.5 million, and 15.1 million Sun Cellular. PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company is confident of meeting its core net income guidance of P39.5 billion from P38.7 billion. “Given the company’s performance in the first quarter of 2014 and the outlook for the rest of the year, I can say that PLDT is firmly back on the growth path, and on track to meet our core net income guidance of P39.5 billion for the full year 2014,” Pangilinan said.
Source: Phil. Star