By Darwin G. Amojelar
PLDT Inc. said Thursday net profit grew 30 percent in the first half from a year ago, but warned of “stronger headwinds” in the second half on rising consumer prices.
The country’s largest telecom company reported a net income of P16.74 billion from January to June, higher than P12.92 billion it posted in the same period last year.
Telco core income, excluding the impact of asset sales and Voyager Innovations, reached P17 billion, up 12 percent from P15.21 billion last year.
Consolidated revenues rose 6 percent to P47.9 billion in the first half despite the more difficult market conditions, a top executive said.
PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said he was expecting PLDT to outperform against a very challenging environment.
“We expect stronger headwinds in the second half, with higher inflation impacting our customers’ pockets as well as our own operating costs,” Pangilinan said.
Inflation in June accelerated to a 43-month high of 6.1 percent from 3.7 percent a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
“With so much pressure on growth, it is imperative that we stay focused on our strategic initiatives and managing costs,” Pangilinan said.
He said PLDT was keeping its telco core income target of P33 billion this year as portions of proceed from the tower sale would be used to pay down debt in the second half. PLDT sold its more than 5,000 towers to two international tower companies for P77 billion.
PLDT Inc. said Monday it completed the sale of 1,013 more cell sites to two international tower operators for P13.2 billion.
PLDT said the deal was part of the sale and purchase agreements with ISOC edotco Towers Inc. and Conworks Infratech Corp., a subsidiary of EdgePoint, involving 5,907 towers for P77 billion. PLDT units Smart Communications Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. signed the deals in April.
PLDT and Smart Communications Inc. president Alfredo Panlilio said the group was on track to meeting its service revenue target of mid-single digit growth this year.
“Home broadband will lead this growth, with Enterprise also expected to register stronger performance, underpinned by ICT. Although Wireless faces tough market conditions, it should benefit from the continued opening up the economy,” he said.
Home service revenues amounted to P28.1 billion, up 24 percent year-on-year, while Enterprise posted a 9-percent growth in revenues to P23.2 billion.
Individual Wireless revenues reached P41.2 billion.
PLDT spent P46 billion in the first half of the P85-billion capital expenditure budget in 2022. The capex funded the Home broadband business, network expansion and construction of data center and submarine cable system.