PLDT posts 19% jump in net income, allots P83-B capex for 2020
Industry giant PLDT Inc. is readying for another year of record spending as it delivered solid results in 2019.
PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said on Thursday PLDT was allotting a capital spending budget of P83 billion for 2020 with 77 percent going to its network amid explosive demand for internet services, such as video streaming and gaming.
The figure, to be funded by the sale of noncore property assets and earnings, is bigger than last year’s spending of P72.9 billion.
It will also allow PLDT to sustain earnings after posting strong results in 2019, when service revenues surpassed the previous record in 2014, validating the company’s turnaround strategy launched four years ago.
“We used to be riding on the back of a donkey. Now, it’s probably a racehorse,” Pangilinan said during the company’s earnings briefing on Thursday.
PLDT said full-year consolidated service revenue rose 8 percent to P157.7 billion. This could rise by double-digits this year, Pangilinan said.
Its core income, which excludes the impact of asset sales and PLDT’s stake in financial technology company Voyager Innovations, went up 13 percent to P27.1 billion while net income ended at P22.52 billion, up 19 percent.
Higher earnings for 2020 will help PLDT cushion the impact from a crackdown on services providers of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos), which are among PLDT’s enterprise customers, and the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Pangilinan said the impact from the closure of Pogos would be “between modest to moderate.” PLDT chief financial officer said Pogos accounted for about 2 percent of enterprise revenues, which rose 5 percent to P39.2 billion.
PLDT’s gains for 2019 were driven by the recovery of its mobile business with the consumer wireless business jumping 20 percent to P72.1 billion. PLDT’s home internet business grew 3 percent to P37.2 billion.
PLDT has also pared down the contribution of its international business, whose continued decline has been a drag on earnings. In 2019, the international business accounted for 3 percent of service revenues from 13 percent in 2012.
Moreover, data and broadband now account for 67 percent of total revenues.
The company will continue upgrading mobile services in 2020. Jane Basas, the PLDT senior vice president for wireless, said the group would deepen 4G penetration by improving customer service and shifting users to LTE devices.
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