PLDT’s profit climbs by 8% to P24.3b on record sales

PLDT Inc. said Thursday it expects to sustain growth this year after a “year from hell” brought about by the global pandemic.

PLDT, partly owned by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd. and Japan’s NTT Group, reported a net income of P24.3 billion in 2020, up 8 percent from P22.52 billion in 2019.

Core income, which excludes the impact of asset sales and Voyager Innovations, rose 4 percent to P28.1 billion from the previous year. Consolidated service revenues climbed 9 percent to P171.5 billion, the company’s highest full-year revenue that surpassed 2019’s P157.7 billion.

The company’s earnings last year were led by data/broadband demand which grew 18 percent to P124.5 billion.

“Despite PLDT’s stellar performance, it is with great relief that we put 2020 behind us. It is tempting to say that we have seen the worst, but 2021 comes with its own set of challenges—a worrisome economic outlook, prolonged uncertainty on the pandemic with possible new waves, mutations and a delayed vaccine rollout and of course, the entry of heightened competition from both new and current players,” PLDT chairman, president and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said.

“But with confidence built on how we not only weathered but thrived despite the ‘year from hell’ that was 2020, we anticipate more growth in 2021,” he said.

Pangilinan said he was expecting a high single-digit increase in consolidated service revenues and core income in the vicinity of P29 billion to 30 billion in 2021, anchored on sustained demand for data and broadband services.

Consumer wireless revenues rose 15 percent to P82.7 billion, while Home broadband revenues went up by 11 percent to P41.4 billion. Enterprise revenues amounted to P41.2 billion up by 5 percent year-on-year.

PLDT is budgeting P88 billion to P92 billion for 2021 capital expenditures, higher from last year’s P71.9 billion.

PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, reached more than 429,000 kilometers at the end of 2020.

PLDT extended the reach of fixed broadband service to cover 9 million homes. The total number of available fiber-powered ports hit 4 million.

The company aims to further expand its fiber network by 125,000 kilometers and add 1.7 million ports this year.

PLDT and rival Globe Telecom face increased competition this year, as DITO Telecommunity Corp. is set to launch commercial operations on March 8 as the country’s third major telecom player. DITO said it would initially start its services in the Visayas and Mindanao before launching in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is also rapidly expanding its fiber optic broadband network that competes with PLDT, Globe and SkyCable.

Topics: PLDT Inc. , Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd. , Japan’s NTT Group , net income , global pandemic
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