DITO Telecommunity Corp., a joint venture of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, said Friday it renewed its $1.175-billion bridge facility provided by Bank of China and China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd. to finance expansion plans.
“This bridge facility is to be repaid and absorbed via a $3.9-billion project finance long-term facility currently being finalized by DITO Tel’s senior management, with target closing within the year,” DITO CME Holdings Corp. said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
DITO CME owns 53.70 percent of DITO Telecommunity.
The company earlier said capital expenditures for 2023 would amount to P27 billion, lower than P50 billion it spent last year.
It invested over P200 billion for the initial rollout of its infrastructure and other operating expenses as part of its commitment to spend P257 billion over a five-year period to achieve 55 megabits per second of internet speed, covering 84 percent of the population.
Dito Tel signed in 2021 a P5.16-billion advance agreement with China Telecom International Investment Private Ltd. to fund its operating expenditures and working capital requirements.
The company also signed another P5.22-billion advance agreement with CTIIPL last year to fund its operating expenditures and working capital requirements. As of end-December 2022, P4.36 billion was drawn.
DITO Tel reduced its net loss by 90 percent in the first quarter to P709 million from P6.83 billion in the same period in 2022.
The company reported P2.341 billion in revenues in the quarter, up 76 percent year-on-year on strong increase in subscribers to about 16 million as of the end of the first quarter.
“We remain steadfast to our investment in DITO Telecommunity with its continued growth trajectory and expanding relevance as a digital enabler to the Philippine market,” DITO CME president Eric Alberto said earlier.
“We are confident that this will continue as DITO Telecommunity continues to expand its network with commitments to increase population coverage to 80 percent this year and 84 percent by 2024,” he said.
DITO Telecommunity passed its third technical audit conducted on July 8, 2022.
The audit showed that the company reached population coverage of 72.39 percent, surpassing the commitment of 70.01 percent.
DITO Tel also continued to generate minimum average broadband speed of 71.77 Mbps for 4G and 801.19 Mbps for 5G, exceeding the minimum average 55 Mbps commitment.