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PLDT core income up, eyes sale of Voyager unit

/ 05:14 AM August 10, 2018

PLDT Inc. saw higher core earnings in the first semester this year while pointing to a possible windfall toward the end of 2018 as it announced the early stages of the sale of a majority stake in Voyager Innovations.

In a press briefing on Thursday, PLDT said core profit from January to June hit P13.1 billion, up 6 percent over the same period in 2017. Growth was driven by its enterprise and home segments, which accounted for half of the company’s total service revenues of P72.4 billion, up 2 percent.

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Earnings from the once-troubled wireless segment rose 2 percent to P29.9 billion, which the company viewed as further affirmation that its turnaround strategy was yielding positive results.

It noted that the gain was due to growing mobile data revenues as PLDT ramped up spending, in particular, for its 4G network.

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“We have stayed on the growth path through the mid-point of this year by banking chiefly on the momentum of our home and enterprise businesses. Our individual wireless business has taken further steps forward, making gradual additions to its revenues and subscriber base,” PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan noted that PLDT was also in talks with a group of unmanned foreign investors for the sale of a majority stake in Voyager, whose platforms mainly lean heavily toward fintech and e-commerce. It is best known for its Paymaya mobile wallet, which has seen rapid growth.

Pangilinan said PLDT and the buyers signed a “nonbinding” term sheet, which will be finalized over the next four weeks.

Citing Voyager’s rapid growth, Pangilinan said PLDT, which will keep a minority stake, was reluctant to fully finance the company’s expansion plans over the next few years.

“Once they hit their full stride, the losses will mount. Of course, it will impact on our P&L (profit and loss statement),” Pangilinan said. He said PLDT had poured almost P10 billion into Voyager since it was established five years ago. Voyager posted losses of about P1.3 billion in the first semester of 2018.

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TAGS: PLDT Inc., Voyager Innovations
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