By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

EARNINGS of Globe Telecom, Inc. rose 44% in the first quarter, on strong revenues from sustained increase in data usage by mobile and home broadband subscribers.

The Ayala-led telco said in a regulatory filing Monday its attributable net income stood at P6.7 billion in the January to March period, up from P4.7 billion in the same period last year. Core net income, which excludes forex, mark-to-market gains/losses and non-recurring items, also grew 40% to P6.7 billion.

Total revenues increased 10% to P40.6 billion, driven by the 44% jump in mobile data revenues to P16.5 billion. This segment now accounts for 61% of the company’s gross service revenues, rising from 47% last year.

Globe’s home broadband service contributed P5.2 billion to the company’s total revenues, or 21% higher from the same period last year, while corporate data added P3.1 billion or an increase of 16% from last year.

“We continue to see that data continues to be the main driver of growth. Mobile business grew 11% year on year, bolstered by the 44% increase in mobile data revenues,” Globe Chief Commercial Officer Alberto M. de Larrazabal said in a media briefing at the company’s headquarters in Bonifacio Global City.

The growth in the company’s data-related services was able to outpace the revenue decline in other services. Revenues from mobile SMS slid 22% to P4.2 billion, while mobile voice revenues slumped by 15% to P6.3 billion. Total revenues from Globe’s mobile services still ended 11% higher at P27 billion.

“With the pervasive reach of data and Internet of things, we see its effects not just on the rapid acceleration of mobile data revenues, but also in lower mobile voice and SMS services, both posting double digit declines,” Mr. De Larrazabal said.

Fixed line voice revenues also fell 8% to P710 million.

Mobile subscribers of Globe reached 83.5 million by the end of March, while home broadband subscribers hit 1.7 million during the same period.

The company’s total costs and expenses were flat at P30.7 billion. Capital expenditure for the period was at around P8.8 billion, 68% of which were spent for data-related services.

Considering Globe’s positive financial performance in the first quarter, Mr. De Larrazabal said future revenue increase may be muted.

“We always aim to execute to the extent that we can. We are always looking for ways to improve the margins of what we do… [A] more tempered outlook is probably the more appropriate way to go at this point,” he said.

Globe is allotting P63 billion for its capital expenditures this year to support the growth of its data business. It is scheduled to launch next month its fifth generation (5G) network for the home, which Mr. De Larrazabal said may target corporate and household customers.