Filipino operator Globe Telecom booked net income of PHP4.203 billion (USD93.9 million) in the first quarter of this year, up sharply by 43% from PHP2.949 billion in Q1 2014, driven by strong growth across all key business segments, but in particular from its mobile business. The carrier’s mobile division reported a 10% year-on-year increase in revenues to PHP20.271 billion, led by ‘Globe Postpaid’ which climbed 10% y-o-y to around PHP7.8 billion and pre-paid (Touch Mobile, or TM) services, which increased 9% to PHP12.5 billion. Globe said that ‘robust growth’ was driven by another record-breaking quarter for subscriber acquisitions, bringing the total mobile subscriber base to 46.103 million as of end-March 2015, up 13% from 40.749 million a year before. Mobile data revenues, meanwhile, climbed 58% to PHP4.4 billion on the back of Globe’s Free Facebook and Free Viber campaigns.
Consolidated service revenues increased by 13% y-o-y to PHP26.220 billion, although when compared with the previous quarter, consolidated services revenues fell slightly by PHP104 million after coming off a seasonally strong fourth quarter, it said. Earnings before income tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for Q1 2015 climbed 25% to PHP11.009 billion from PHP8.796 billion as operating income surged 39% y-o-y to PHP6.570 billion, prompting Globe’s president and CEO, Ernest L Cu, to comment: ‘We are happy we maintained our growth momentum for the first quarter of the year despite the heightened level of competition,’ going on to add that with its ‘modernised network and … commitment to innovation powered by … partnerships with global content providers, [Globe] can achieve sustainable financial growth moving forward’.
Globe’s broadband business, meanwhile, ‘sustained double digit growth’, with revenues increasing by 31% to PHP3.664 billion, as high speed internet subscribers grew 41% to 3.093 million; wireless broadband subscribers were up 47% at 2.639 million while the fixed broadband user base climbed 16% to 454,069. Furthermore, Globe said that its fixed line data business increased 17% y-o-y to PHP1.543 billion for the first quarter due to the expansion in circuit count and increased usage, and traditional fixed line voice revenues were up 12% to PHP743 million, due to the continued popularity of affordable LTE-bundled internet and landline plans; it had 809,649 voice subscribers at end-March. To support rising demand for mobile data services and its growing subscriber base, the telco invested PHP4.9 billion in capital expenditures in the first three months of 2015 – including starting work on deploying its USD500 million 4G network. Globe is seeking to build 5,000 LTE sites over 24 months, using Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) 1800MHz and Time Division Duplexing (TDD) 2600MHz spectrum.