Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the country’s biggest telco by market valuable, has reported a sharper-than-expected 11% decline in net income for the second quarter, blaming the drop in part on saturation in the domestic mobile market which is generating increasingly fierce price competition to the detriment of its profit margins. The carrier, which is owned by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Company Ltd, and Japanese telcos NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo, booked net profit of PHP9.40 billion (USD225 million) in April-June 2012, down from PHP10.60 billion in the corresponding year-earlier period. The performance compared with a forecast net profit of PHP10.10 billion in a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters.
Going forward, the carrier has maintained its core net income guidance of PHP37 billion for full-year 2012 and, to achieve this, PLDT hopes to maximise returns from its growing broadband business to offset the slowdown in traditional mobile services as cellular penetration surpasses 100%. PLDT’S mobile phone subscriber base expanded to 67.4 million at the end of June from 66.1 million at the end of March.