The Philippine’s dominant telecoms company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), has reported a 13% rise in core profits for the quarter ending 30 September, driven by a strong performance from its mobile arm which helped offset a drop in revenue at its fixed line business. PLDT said core net profit for the period July-September was PHP9.1 billion (USD207.3 million), up from PHP8.0 billion in the corresponding period of 2006. For the nine months to end-September, core net income climbed year-on-year from PHP23.2 billion to PHP26.2 billion, causing the operator to raise its full-year guidance. ‘The sustained strength in our core numbers and our sturdy underlying fundamentals, as manifested in our robust nine months numbers, point to another year of record-high core profitability,’ PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said. ‘In that light, we are upgrading our core earnings forecast for the year to between 34.5-35 billion pesos, up from 32 billion pesos that we had estimated at the beginning of the year,’ the chairman continued. PLDT’s core net profit reflects profit before foreign exchange translation and derivative gains. Net profit already takes into account such FOREX translation and derivative gains. The telco’s third-quarter net profit dipped 9% y-o-y to PHP9.5 billion as a result of higher income tax provisions. However, net profit for the first nine months of the year was up 3%, aided by lower depreciation charges.
PLDT had signed up 28.3 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of September, a net gain of 4.1 million since the start of the year. Meanwhile, the group’s broadband unit had 501,000 subscribers and turnover from internet and broadband was up 43% y-o-y at PHP5.3 billion in the first nine months of the year. Revenues from PLDT’s fixed line services dipped one percentage point to PHP35.7 billion, mainly the result of the stronger peso, which has gained 12% against the US dollar in 2007 alone.