Philippine telecommunication companies expressed cautious optimism about their outlook next year as the economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
PLDT Inc., Globe Telecom, and Converge ICT Solutions Inc. sustained their growth momentum in the third quarter of the year despite the impact of the global pandemic.
“We are cautiously optimistic that as the economy reopens, we are best positioned to serve our customers through the new normal, as evidenced by our strong results for the first nine months of 2021,” Al Panlilio, president and chief executive of PLDT and Smart said.
“While all business units continue to show solid performance, this is more apparent in the Home business, where we pushed record installations in recognition of the connectivity needs of our customers,” he added.
PLDT’s telco core income climbed 10 percent year-on-year to P23.1 billion in the first nine months of 2021, helped by lower tax rates. It remains on track to reach full-year telco core income guidance of P30 billion this year.
The company’s consolidated service revenues amounted to P135.9 billion, up 7 percent compared to last year.
Ernest L. Cu, Globe president, and chief executive said his company reported a “resurgent business performance in the third quarter, with the topline now back to pre-pandemic levels, despite the continued economic and public mobility challenges, and competitive industry environment.”
Globe’s core net income stood at P18.3 billion in the first nine months of the year, 17 percent from P15.6 billion in the same period in 2020.
The company’s consolidated service revenues amounted to P113.6 billion, beating last year’s revenues by 4 percent and 3 percent higher than the same period of 2019, which was pre-pandemic.
“Globe will continue to create new and exciting propositions to reach more customers, as we provide connectivity and solutions to power and enable a robust digital ecosystem for the Filipino,” he added.
Converge ICT also reported higher revenues in the first nine months of the year due to continued subscriber take-up.
Its consolidated revenues grew by 76.4 percent year-on-year to P18.8 billion in the first nine months of 2021.
“We have completed our nationwide backbone, allowing us to expand into new areas in the Visayas and Mindanao while continuing to go deep into underserved areas in Luzon,” Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge chief executive said.
“We have also augmented our sales force so that we can serve a broader number of our people with world-class fiber broadband connectivity,” he added.
As of end-September 2021, the nationwide network of Converge reached more than 9.6 million homes, allowing it to accelerate its target to cover approximately 55% of Filipino households to 2023, two years ahead of the original 2025
Businesses need to be agile
Panlilio also said that businesses need to be agile across their operations and participate in digital ecosystems to succeed in the post-pandemic world.
Panlilio stressed that Filipinos need to embrace resilience and adaptability to overcome the difficulties brought by the pandemic.
“It has become imperative to adapt and act fast—pivoting processes and operations to survive, and build resilience for a sustainable future ahead,” said Panlilio.
The PLDT executive said that the past year had presented the significance of digital transformation in every industry, which now redefines how businesses operate. Panlilio said companies strived to digitize their core processes by putting digital transformation on the top of their priority list as a long-term investment.
“It is the incubation of technology, purpose, and balance that drives people growth, business strategies, and sustainability. At the center of it all is still the customer. Hence, it is imperative to go beyond the hype of new technologies and discover how they can shape our future,” he added.
Given this scenario, PLDT and Smart have been leveraging digital technology and a robust network to deliver a world-class customer experience at the forefront of breakthrough innovations in the telco industry.
“PLDT and Smart are establishing programs that can effectively identify, evaluate, and incubate digitization to transform ourselves. By doing so, we are also creating new opportunities and harnessing advanced technologies to chart a path to the next horizon, mindful of our civic duty to help with economic recovery and overall nation-building,” Panlilio said.
Journey to economic recovery
Cu, meanwhile, said the company remains focused on its role as an enabler of digital transformation for all Filipinos, including businesses, by providing them with technology and agile and affordable solutions.
“As businesses begin their journey to economic recovery, we will continue to extend our hand to entrepreneurs to give them meaningful and life-enabling innovations and access to opportunities and growth,” Cu said.
Globe Business offers an array of digital business solutions to equip MSMEs in their digital journey including products, platforms, learning programs, and technical assistance.
BPI SME Loans, on the other hand, has developed Biz Tech, a loan program specifically for Globe Business MSMEs who need a financial boost for their business, while AEC extends exclusive perks and benefits from other Ayala companies to help Globe Business customers save on expenses.
“The commitment and the resilience we have witnessed among MSMEs as they navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic inspires us to continue developing innovative ways to support our local entrepreneurs and carve pathways for them to succeed as the backbone of our economy,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president, and chief executive of Ayala Corp. said.
Globe Business is also launching a search for MSMEs that have tapped into the power of digital technology to pivot their operations and survive the pandemic. Five businesses will be chosen by the telco giant from among the stories shared to an SME showcase worth P50,000 to help boost their business and expedite their digital transformation.
Lastly, new and existing Globe Business customers will also benefit from Globe Business Upstart —a loyalty program designed to empower micro, small and medium business owners through three core pillars: digital leadership, business enablement, and exclusive partnerships. Members will have access to this starting July 5 when they register for the program.