The Philippines’ dominant telecoms group Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has announced that net profit for the first nine months of this year was 2% lower than in the same period of 2007, largely the result of the weakening local currency. Associated Press reports that the peso has dropped 17.7% since the start of the year and was trading at PHP48.49 against the US dollar on Monday.
PLDT’s consolidated net profit in the January-September period fell to PHP26.2 billion (USD541 million) as ‘losses from the foreign exchange revaluation of financial assets and liabilities’ undermined the operator’s bottom line. Core net income, excluding forex fluctuations and movements in the value of derivatives, rose 5% from PHP26.4 billion in 9M07 to PHP27.8 billion. Commenting on the group’s performance, PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said his firm was expecting second-half losses ‘with inflation accelerating and taking its toll on customer wallets and on cash expenses’.
He went on to confirm the group’s guidance of full-year core profit of PHP37 billion, adding that PLDT intends to reassess its CAPEX programme at the start of 2009 ‘once we have a better grasp of the overall market situation’.