17 Apr 2015
Liberty Telecoms Holdings, part of the Filipino food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), has reported net losses of PHP897 million (USD20.2 million) for the twelve months ending 31 December 2014, compared to net losses of PHP1.445 billion in 2013, although revenues fell to PHP427.15 million from PHP447.35 million as the unit continued to lose broadband subscribers. Liberty Telecoms, which offers high speed access through WiMAX operator Wi-Tribe Telecoms, has been bleeding money for over two years: it reported a deficit of PHP9.8 billion last year and PHP8.9 billion in 2013, raising questions over its long term viability in the market – despite its major shareholders’ commitment to the venture.
In a filing Liberty Telecoms confirmed that the losses continue due to the rollout of Wi-Tribe’s WiMAX network, but noted a decrease in subscriptions to both post- and pre-paid subscriptions – although it did not divulge operational figures for the year end. Service revenues slumped to PHP253 million from PHP439 million in 2013, although the unit was able to slash PHP138.5 million in expenses due to the normal depreciation and amortisation of its property and equipment. The company says it is continuing its revised rehabilitation plan, approved in 2011, and expects to exit by the end of 2016. In the meantime, it remains committed to providing WIMAX broadband services to the local market using its Wi-Tribe brand.