PLDT Inc. said Thursday net income fell 3 percent in the first quarter to P6.7 billion from a year ago on lower gains in the valuation of the company’s investment in German technology venture Rocket Internet.
The country’s largest telecom company said core net income rose 6 percent to P7.2 billion as consolidated service revenues climbed 7 percent to P38 billion in the three-month period.
Service revenues of three major business groups accounted for 94 percent of total service revenues and reached P35.8 billion, up 12 percent from the same quarter in 2018.
The 12-percent increase was higher than the 6-percent growth registered in the whole of 2018.
Data and broadband service revenues grew 21 percent to P24.4 billion and accounted for 68 percent of total service revenues excluding international operations.
“Two things stand out in our results for the first quarter of 2019. First, close to 70 percent of our service revenues are now from data and broadband underscoring the fact that our secular shift to data and digital services is moving at a faster clip reflecting our ability to attract more data customers and migrate our legacy subscribers to data,” said PLDT chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan.
“Second, our individual wireless business, which started to take off in the last quarter of 2018, gained more momentum in the first quarter this year, surpassing even our expectations,” said Pangilinan.
Among the major business groups, individual wireless posted the highest growth of 18 percent to P16.9 billion, on the back of rising data usage and a surge in subscriber growth.
The growth was driven by the prepaid segment which accounted for about three-quarters of the wireless business that posted 28-percent growth.
Broadband and data revenues rose to nearly P11 billion and made up 65 percent of wireless revenues amid the growing number of subscribers.
Revenues of the home business grew at a moderate pace of 3 percent to P9.1 billion as the impact of the Labor Department’s ruling on outsourced services and the consequential disruption of repair and installation services starting mid-2018 continued to impact the net takeup of home broadband subscribers.
“In the first quarter, our individual wireless business gave consumer group revenues a strong boost. In the coming quarters, we are ramping up our efforts to better serve the strong demand for PLDT’s fiber-powered broadband services,” PLDT senior vice president for consumer and market development Oscar Reyes Jr. said.
“We expect that these initiatives will boost home revenues and further raise overall consumer revenues to new highs,” he said.