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PLDT net income jumps 95% as demand surges

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By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

PLDT, Inc. on Thursday reported a 95% growth in its attributable net income for the third quarter, noting that the period was an “all-time high” across its different business segments because of the spike in customer demand for digital services.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, PLDT posted an attributable net income of P7.41 billion, up from the P3.79 billion it generated in the same period last year.

PLDT saw a 10% increase in its revenues to P46.49 billion. Broken down, service revenues grew 9% to P44.37 billion, while non-service revenues increased 18% to P2.12 billion.

“For the third quarter alone, consumer wireless took in revenues of P21 billion, or 15% higher; enterprise recorded P10.6 billion, 8% more, while the home segment produced P10.7 billion, a 16% gain,” the company said in a statement.

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These brought the telco’s nine-month attributable net income to P19.69 billion, 23% higher than last year’s figure. Revenues also grew 7% to P133.22 billion.

Segmented, service revenues went up 7% to P127.85 billion, while non-service revenues declined 1% to P5.37 billion.

“Data and broadband revenues led the growth in service revenues, reaching P90.8 billion, an 18% increase in the first nine months, with mobile internet and home broadband rising 31% and 14%, respectively,” PLDT said. Data and broadband accounted for 72% of PLDT’s service revenues.

Also for the nine-month period, the telco’s revenues from the consumer wireless segment grew 15% to P60.8 billion. The enterprise segment saw a 6% revenue climb to 30.9 billion. Home generated P30.3 billion, up 10% from a year ago.

PLDT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan expects a better performance for the last quarter of the year.

“We’re forecasting better numbers for 2021,” he also said at an online briefing on Thursday.

Mr. Pangilinan likewise disclosed that the company is no longer pursuing investments in Sky Cable Corp., a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp.

“We have withdrawn from the bidding process, at least as we understand it, for SkyCable. The main reason if I may say this, is that there are other commercial reasons why we did that. But I think the main reason that we did that is on review of the Bayanihan Act II,” he said.

“The PCC (Philippine Competition Commission) has the ability to review mergers and acquisitions one year after the effectivity of the act and possibly reverse agreements… Of course, we’re concerned that that risk might arise. The risk is there and the prospect of divestment might be real and we decided not to attract that risk,” Mr. Pangilinan added.

To recall, PLDT announced in September that it was exploring opportunities in Sky Cable Corp.

The Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II) signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sept. 11 exempts mergers and acquisitions from compulsory notification “with transaction value of less than P50 billion which are entered into within two years” from effectivity of the law.

The PCC in a statement said the new law also suspends its “exercise of motu proprio review of these mergers and acquisitions for a period of one year.”

Shares in PLDT closed 1.06% higher at P1,340 apiece on Thursday.

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