Globe Telecom of the Philippines has reported a 25% year-on-year rise in first-quarter net income, boosted by data-related products across all areas of its business. The telco booked net income of PHP4.68 billion (USD90.2 million) for the three months ending 31 March 2018, compared to PHP3.76 billion in the same period last year, as core net income – which strips out the impact of non-recurring charges and foreign exchange and mark-to-market charges – soared 29% to PHP4.80 billion from PHP3.68 billion. Group consolidated service revenue, meanwhile, increased to PHP36.68 billion from PHP32.93 billion in 1Q17, boosted, it said, by ‘demand for data-related products across all segments, given the increase in consumption for video streaming and on-demand entertainment’. EBITDA stood at PHP16.08 billion in January-March 2018, compared to PHP15.76 billion in the corresponding year-earlier period, as mobile revenues remained broadly stable at PHP25.51 billion from PHP25.98 billion, of which PHP12.30 billion was mobile data, bolstered by a 37% increase in data traffic to 180 petabytes in 1Q18. Mobile SMS and mobile voice revenues, however, generated PHP5.60 billion and PHP7.60 billion, respectively, although Globe noted the ‘continued shift to internet-based applications, consistent with global trends’.
Operationally speaking, Globe closed out 31 March 2018 with a total of 63.263 million mobile subscribers, up 8% from 58.580 million a year earlier, of which post-paid lines accounted for 2.467 million (down 1%). Turning to its fixed line business, Globe’s Home Broadband division reported 1.396 million subscribers at end-March 2018, up 7% y-o-y, broken down as 741,659 fixed-wireless and 654,345 wired broadband (1Q17: 655,441 and 645,720). Globe said it spent PHP6.6 billion in the first three months of this year to support its growing subscriber base and demand for data. Of the total capital expenditure during the period, about 64% was to support the data service needs of customers, it said. Globe has 38,963 base stations on air, of which more than 25,600 are 4G base stations. The company is setting a PHP44 billion investment budget for FY 2018, mainly to boost its data network capabilities.