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Liberty Telecoms trims first-quarter losses; seeks early exit from rehab proceedings

18 May 2015

Liberty Telecoms Holdings, which offers high speed access in the Philippines through WiMAX operator Wi-Tribe Telecoms, says its net losses for the period January-March 2015 fell 31.6% to PHP210.16 million (USD4.74 million) from PHP307.59 million in the year-earlier period, prompting it to seek clearance to emerge from court-imposed rehabilitation before next year. However, the San Miguel Corp (SMC) and Ooredoo (formerly Qtel) unit said revenues continued to fall, dropping to PHP42.170 million from PHP78.380 million in 1Q14, reflecting ‘the decrease in subscribers of post-paid and pre-paid WIMAX broadband and increase in non-service revenue due to additional rental income from other telecommunication companies’. Liberty 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 main shareholders’ commitment to the venture. Nevertheless, in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Liberty Telecoms confirmed that its board has approved its bid for early termination of rehabilitation proceedings before the Makati Regional Trial Court. The court approved the telco’s revised rehabilitation plan in December 2006, after it was forced to suspend its business operations due to severe financial difficulties.

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