PLDT Inc. plans to spend over P78 billion this year to expand its mobile and broadband networks.
PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said capital expenditures for 2020 would be “bigger than 2019, slightly bigger.”
PLDT’s programmed capex in 2019 amounted to P78.4 billion, which were allocated for the expansion of PLDT’s fiber broadband service in support of Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.
The company earlier said it would use the proceeds from the sale of some of its real estate assets as well as shares in Rocket Internet to finance this year’s capex.
PLDT expects to raise P5 billion from the sale of Smart Towers along Ayala Avenue in Makati City.
Smart Tower is a 36-story office building along Ayala Ave. It is used by Smart Communications as its headquarters.
PLDT also owns other properties in Makati, such as the Ramon Cojuangco Building along Makati Ave. and the Makati general office along Dela Rosa Street.
PLDT holds 1.9 million shares or a 2-percent stake in Rocket Internet valued at about P2.5 billion. The telecom company sold a 4.1-percent stake in the German Internet company worth P10.5 billion in May 2018.
PLDT earlier reported a net income of P16 billion in the first nine months of 2019, down 2 percent from the same period in 2018.
Core income amounted to P19.4 billion, up 1 percent from 2018, excluding the impact of equity in losses from Voyager and gains from the sale of Rocket Internet shares.
Consolidated service revenues increased 8 percent to P116.3 billion—the highest nine-month revenue ever attained by PLDT, surpassing the previous peak in 2014.
The company’s three major business groups—consumer wireless, PLDT Home and PLDT Enterprise—generated P109.4 billion in revenues, up 11 percent from a year earlier and making up 94 percent of total service revenues.
Consumer wireless set the pace, climbing 20 percent to P52.6 billion. Data and broadband, representing 66 percent of total service revenues, rose 20 percent to P76.7 billion.
Earlier, PLDT Group said it is ready to compete with rivals Globe Telecom Inc. and new player Dito Telecommunity Corp. of Udenna Corp and China Telecom as it expects stiff competition starting this year.
“Obviously Globe is not sleeping. We’re also aggressive to make sure we do better than them. Yes, we need to worry about the new telco coming in. Are they gonna be ready next year? I’m not sure. Maybe 2021,” said Smart Communications Inc. president and PLDT chief revenue officer Alfredo Panlilio.
“We just have to focus on what we need to do. We need to make customers happy, give them better services. That’s the only way you can compete, have the better service in the market,” he added.
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