PLDT bares plan to borrow P28b from local banks

PLDT Inc. plans to borrow up to P28 billion from local banks this year to refinance maturing debt and partly fund the 2019 capital expenditures, a top executive said Wednesday.

PLDT chief financial officer Anabelle Chua said the country’s largest telecom company was looking at borrowing between P27 billion and P28 billion this year from local banks. 

“It would be spread over the year for refinancing and capex,” she said.

About $391 million worth of PLDT debt is expected to mature this year. 

The company allocated P78.4 billion for 2019 capital expenditures, higher by nearly P20 billion from last year’s P58.5 billion. 

The aggressive roll-out is intended to further push the already significant network advantage of PLDT and Smart and support an active campaign for more revenues.

PLDT said that by end-2018, the coverage of its fiber-powered network passed 6.3 million homes, up by 57 percent from the 2017 level. Its total capacity reached 2.6 million ports with about one million ports available for sale.

PLDT added nearly 70,000 kilometers of fiber cables, expanding its total fiber network to more than 244,000 kilometers.

It said that on mobile business, the objective was to build on Smart’s LTE advantage and prepare for the arrival of 5G.

Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations by over 86 percent to about 16,200 as of end-2018.

It also increased its 3G base stations by more than 17 percent to about 11,500.

The massive deployment enabled Smart to meet its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to provide mobile broadband in at least 90 percent of Philippine cities and municipalities.

PLDT earlier reported a 44-percent increase in net income in 2018 to P19.2 billion from P13.3 billion in 2017.

Consolidated core income went down 5 percent to P26.2 billion, as the accelerated depreciation cost arising from PLDT’s aggressive network transformation programs offset gains from PLDT’s loss of control of Voyager and from the sale of Rocket Internet shares.

PLDT said that excluding Voyager operations, core income rose 3 percent to P24.4 billion

Consolidated revenues, net of interconnection costs, rose 5 percent to P194.4 billion in 2018, excluding P1.1 billion of revenues from Voyager Innovations.

Combined revenues from main businesses―home, enterprise and consumer individual―rose 9 percent year-on-year to P137.4 billion.

Topics: PLDT Inc. , 2019 capital expenditures , capex
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