The Philippines’ dominant telecoms company Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) yesterday reported a 55% year-on-year rise in net income, to PHP10.4 billion (USD209.2 million), in the third quarter of 2006, driven by the positive effects of the peso’s appreciation on corporate profits. The group’s net income for 9M 2006 meanwhile rose to PHP25.7 billion, up 4% from PHP24.8 billion a year ago. Core net income was also up 11% to PHP23.2 billion and consolidated revenues climbed 3% to PHP92 billion, from PHP89.7 billion previously. The company’s capital expenditure in the first nine months of the year totalled PHP16.9 billion with PLDT focusing its efforts on upgrading 300,000 fixed lines and upgrading and expanding its wireless unit Smart’s 2G and 3G networks. Revenues from the wireless arm were up 6% to PHP58 billion and the number of Smart and Talk N Text subscribers stood at 22.9 million by end-September, up more than 2.5 million in a year.
Sales from fixed line services continued to disappoint, however, falling 2% to PHP35.9 billion on the back of a fall in local and domestic long-distance traffic which undermined increased revenues from corporate data and residential DSL services. ePLDT, the group’s IT and communications technology unit, posted sales of PHP3.8 billion during the nine-month period, up 80% year-on-year.