DITO Telecommunity Corp., a joint venture between Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, on Friday said it had renewed a $1.175-billion bridge facility provided by Bank of China and China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd.
"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 senior management, with target closing within the year," parent firm DITO CME Holdings Corp. said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The company earlier said that capital expenditures for this year would amount to P27 billion, a decline from the P50 billion a year earlier.
It has already spent over P200 billion for the initial rollout of infrastructure and other operating expenses as part of its commitment to invest P257 billion over five years to achieve 55 megabits per second of internet speed and cover 84 percent of the population.
In 2021, DITO signed a P5.16 billion advance agreement with China Telecom International Investment Private Ltd. (CTIIPL) to fund its operating expenditures and working capital requirements. Another P5.22 billion advance agreement with CTIIPL was signed last year with P4.36 billion being drawn.
In the first quarter of the year, DITO Tel reduced its net loss by 90 percent to P709 million from P6.83 billion.
The firm reported P2.341 billion in revenues for the quarter, up 76 percent year on year due to a strong increase in subscribers to 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," Eric Alberto, DITO CME president earlier said.
"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 added.
In 2022, DITO Telecommunity passed its third technical audit which was conducted on July 8 of that year.
The audit showed that the company reached a population coverage of 72.39 percent, surpassing the commitment of 70.01 percent.
DITO CME's share price rose by 3.98 percent or 9 centavos to P2.35 on Friday amid a 0.46-percent drop for the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index.