PLDT second quarter profit growth sluggish, blames inflation

5 Aug 2008

The Philippines’ dominant telecoms group Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) said second-quarter profit growth slowed markedly as rising inflation in the wider economy led fewer people to sign up to its fixed and mobile services. The group added a net 1.2 million new subscribers in the second quarter, down from 1.5 million in Q1 2008. Group net income for the three months to 30 June climbed 4% to PHP8.82 billion (USD200 million) on an 11% year-on-year rise in turnover to PHP39.7 billion, it said in an e-mailed statement. However, the rise in quarterly profit was well below the 21% growth reported in fiscal Q1. PLDT said the combined impact of rising energy and food prices in the country was fuelling inflation and contributing to slower growth. Bloomberg reports that only last week Filipino telcos such as PLDT and Globe Telecom slashed 50% off the cost of sending an SMS for three months after the country’s president, Gloria Arroyo, asked their to help to temper rising inflation.