PLDT Inc. (including Smart Communications and Sun Cellular) reported an 11% drop in net income to PHP5.975 billion (USD118.4 million) in 1Q20, down from PHP6.723 billion a year ago, as core income slipped 3% year-on-year to PHP6.397 billion and pre-tax income fell 8% to PHP8.331 billion. More positively, consolidated revenue rose 7% y-o-y to PHP43.646 billion and EBITDA improved 9% to PHP21.612 billion from PHP19.847 billion; EBITDA margin was 52%, up one percentage point from the corresponding year-ago quarter. The carrier attributed rising revenues to higher turnover from data services in its Wireless and Fixed Line business segments, and higher non-service revenues
from its Wireless business segment, which was partially offset by lower revenues from voice, SMS and home broadband services in its Wireless business segment, and lower revenues from voice services and non-service revenues in the Fixed Line business segment. PLDT noted that in 2019, ‘the MNP Act was enacted, which provides that a customer can retain his mobile number when he moves from one mobile service provider to another, or changes the type of subscription from post-paid to pre-paid or vice versa’.
‘Moving forward, there will be likely some softening of revenue growth in the second quarter this year,’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manuel V Pangilinan, said, adding that ‘overall, we expect revenues to stay on the growth path versus last year’. Further, PLDT’s original CAPEX guidance for 2020 of PHP83.0 billion will probably be ‘pared down’, with around 20% to 25% of the budget likely ‘deferred’, suggesting that CAPEX levels will be in the PHP60-plus billion level.
Operationally, the telecoms giant closed out March 2020 with a total of 73.076 million mobile subscribers on its books, up 14% from 63.949 million at end-March 2019, including 70.591 million pre-paid users (up 15%) and 2.485 million post-paid accounts (up 5%). It also reported a total of almost 2.283 million broadband customers, up 13% on an annualised basis, broken down as 1.987 million fixed broadband users (up 9%) and 296,005 fixed-wireless accounts (up 50%). Finally, TeleGeography notes that the carrier reported a total of 2.801 million fixed telephony connections, up 3% when compared to 2.707 million in the corresponding period of 2019.