PLDT 9-month revenues hit all-time high at P142B

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The consolidated service revenues of PLDT Inc. grew by 4.5 percent, or P6.1 billion, to a nine-month all-time high of P141.9 billion in the first nine months of 2022, with consumers thriving on their digital lifestyles in the new normal.

Data and broadband continue to drive growth, contributing 80 percent of consolidated service revenues at P113.2 billion from January to September this year, PLDT officials said during the nine months earnings briefing Nov. 3.

“Enterprise seems to be our bright spot as we continue to empower businesses in their digital transformation and help promote the Philippines to be the next major ASEAN digital hub,” Alfredo Panlilio, PLDT and Smart Communications president and chief executive officer, said, adding that PLDT Home “continues to grow despite increasing challenges to people’s wallets due to continuing high inflation and the prolonged impact of Typhoon Odette.”

PLDT Enterprise posted a record-high P12 billion in the third quarter and brought revenues in the first nine months of the year to P35.2 billion, following the resurgence of business activity post-COVID lockdowns, the strong support for the government’s digitalization agenda, and the expected growth in demand for data centers from hyperscalers, Anabelle Chua, chief financial officer at PLDT, said at the hybrid press briefing.

Enterprise continues to support the digital transformation needs of a wide array of businesses, from micro SMEs, to large corporations. “Fixed data and fiber broadband, managed networking services, wireless solutions, data center and cloud gains have sustained the growth momentum of Enterprise, and the focus on digital transformation has mitigated the impact of economic challenges.”

The resilience of PLDT’s network in the face of calamities, like typhoons, along with improving operational efficiency gains on installs and repairs have also helped maintain momentum. “Overall fiber and networking revenues for the fixed business continue to provide robust sources of growth, increasing by 17 percent.”

A “Sulong SME!” campaign was also launched to empower small businesses to innovate and thrive in a fast-evolving digital enterprise landscape. Through this program, the MSMEs are provided with simple yet attainable digital solutions to help them navigate and power through their digital transformation journey, Chua said.

Consolidated Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, meanwhile, increased by six percent or P4.3 billion, to P75.4 billion, she said in a statement, adding that this is also an all-time high.

The PLDT Group also expanded total fiber footprint to about 1,091,000 kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber, and almost 860,000 kilometers of domestic fiber, passing some 16.8 million homes in 67 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.

The fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s 77,200 base stations, including 7,300 5G and close to 40,000 4G/LTE base stations deployed nationwide. Smart’s network covers 97 percent of the population with 3G, LTE, and 5G, and in the first nine months of this year, the Group built 1.29 million additional fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) bringing total FTTH capacity to 5.9 million, the report added.

“Our third quarter performance has shown that the business continues to do well amid external challenges – first COVID-19, then inflation and high interest rates, not to mention the ever-present typhoons,” Panlilio said. “The indication, so far, is that the full year performance will be ahead of last year, especially as the fourth quarter is typically a good one”, taking into account the holiday spending.

PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said that the P33-billion core income target is likely to be met, as it already reached P25.4 billion in the first nine months, or a growth of 10 percent. ||