Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the country’s largest telco by subscribers and revenue, says net profit plummeted 87% year-on-year for the three months ended 31 December 2011, impacted by higher operating costs and falling mobile growth. The telco, which is owned by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Company, Japan’s NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo, booked net income of PHP1.1 billion (USD26 million) in October-December, compared to PHP8.2 billion in the last three months of 2010. Full-year net profit reached PHP31.7 billion, down 21% year-on-year, and well below market expectations of net income of PHP39.9 billion, in a poll carried out by Thomson Reuters. Group core net profit – which strips out currency and derivatives-related items, dipped 21% y-o-y in the fourth quarter of 2011 to PHP8.4 billion. PLDT said it hit its downwardly revised FY11 target of PHP39 for core net profit. PLDT forecasts FY12 core net income to reach PHP37 billion and is targeting significant CAPEX upgrades for its broadband and data services, which it says will drive future growth to offset slowing expansion of the mobile business. Last year PLDT acquired fellow operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel) in a deal worth USD1.6 billion to consolidate its number one position in the country’s highly competitive telecoms market.