PLDT Inc. is allocating over P58 billion for its 2019 capital expenditure mainly to finance the rollout of fiber and wireless networks.
“It [capex] has been presented to the board late December. It’s higher than [in] 2018,” PLDT chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan said.
The company programmed a record capex of P58 billion last year.
“We’re going to push the buildout of 4G. You’ve seen the latest OpenSignal report. We’re number one in terms of speed and we’re almost equal with competitors in terms of coverage. Big push on FTTH [fiber to the home] and fiberization of our legacy copper cables,” he said.
Fitch Ratings said in November that it expected the entry of a new telecom player to temper the revenue growth of and raise the capex pressures on PLDT and Globe Telecom, Inc.
The government earlier named Mislatel Consortium of businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and China Telecom as the new major telecom player.
Pangilinan said he remained optimistic about the outlook for PLDT this year.
“Good number for 2018, and I think I’m optimistic about 2019,” he said.
The country’s largest telecom company posted a net income of P16.48 billion in January to September, down from P21.87 billion in the same period in 2017.
PLDT saw a net profit of P4.5 billion in the third quarter, down from P5.38 billion a year earlier.
Excluding foreign exchange gains and other non-recurring income as well as the figures from unit Voyager, PLDT recorded a core profit of P19.07 billion in the first nine months, up by 5 percent from P18.12 billion in 2017.
PLDT said revenues grew 4 percent to P111.88 billion in the nine-month period from P113.35 billion in the same period in 2017.
PLDT’s home business revenues grew 12 percent to P27.3 million, while enterprise business expanded 10 percent to P28.4 billion.