PLDT confident in meeting its profit guidance

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The Philippine Long Distance Co. (Pldt) is confident in meeting and sustaining its profit guidance this year as the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded for the last past quarters of the year.

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“The market will grow next year because the economy is growing positively. Over the last three quarters the GDP has grown roughly about 7 to 7.5 percent. So I think the market will also grow,” said Napoleon Nazareno, president and chief executive officer of PLDT.

“We are sticking to out guidance this year, P38.3 billion, it should be in that neighborhood. I am confident that we will hit that,” he added.

PLDT said that its 2013 first-half consolidated core net income, before exceptional items amounted to P19.4 billion, a 5-percent or P1-billion increase over the P18.4 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“It is encouraging that we are beginning to show signs of growth. We continue to pursue growth in data, while maintaining the equilibrium of our core businesses and managing the long-tail of our legacy services,” PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said.

Service revenues
PLDT’s consolidated service revenues for the first six months of 2013 grew 2 percent to P81.1 billion, as revenues from its data and Internet business more than offset the declines from international and national long distance streams.

At end June, PLDT’s total fiber footprint stood at more than 71,000 kilometers, inclusive of 7,200 kilometers of international submarine fiber, and over 4,000 kilometers of domestic submarine fiber.

Capital expenditures are expected to reach P29 billion for the year, which is P7.4 billion lower than the level of 2012. PLDT is the first Philippine company to be rated “investment grade” by major international ratings agencies.

“In fact this year, the entire telco market is an industry as a whole. The first half was a growth year for the entire industry and I think the second half will also be the same. So next year we are looking at another growth year for us,” Nazareno added.

The PLDT Group’s total cellular subscriber base as of June 30 reached 73.4 million and was broken down as follows: Smart Communications Inc., 25.5 million under the brand and Talk ‘N Text with 31.8 million subscribers; and Digitel had 16.1 million Sun Cellular subscribers.

Meanwhile, PLDT’s DSL subscribers increased by about 60,000 for the first six months of 2013, bringing the total subscriber base to 920,000, representing 45 percent of the fixed-line subscriber base.

For the fixed-line businesses of PLDT and Digitel, the subscriber base remained at 2.1 million at the end of the first half of 2013.

Nazareno also said that the industry grew by about 5 percent in the first half, adding “the industry grew by about 7 percent so we are looking at about the same phenomenon next year.”

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