PLDT Inc. expects core earnings to rebound this year, as it transforms into a digital telecom, internet and media company, a top executive said Tuesday.
“We believe that PLDT’s turnaround is gathering momentum and heading towards core earnings growth starting 2017,” PLDT chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan said.
“2017 will see stabilization at PLDT as it enters a new phase in its transformation into a digital telecommunications and internet/media company,” he said.
PLDT and its subsidiaries undertook a ‘digital pivot’ in 2016 to maintain and enhance its market leadership, amid major shifts in technologies and market.
Pangilinan said margins were compressed and were unlikely to reach the levels of 60 percent in the foreseeable future, even as surging volumes of data brought the promise of upward pressure on revenues.
PLDT said half of its cellular service customers were now using smartphones.
Pangilinan said PLDT increased capital expenditure to keep up with the fast-increasing demands for high-quality data services and would continue spending heavily this year and in 2018.
PLDT targets to expand the reach of its LTE mobile telecommunications standard to 70 percent of the country’s population by year-end and 97 percent by end-2018.
The company budgeted P46 billon for capital expenditures this year.
Net income dropped 9 percent in 2016 to P20.16 billon from P22.07 billon in 2015, as consolidated service revenues declined 3.4 percent to P165.26 billon from P171.10 billion.
The company’s home and enterprise segments together accounted for 47 percent of consolidated service revenues, net of international businesses.