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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PLDT posts P20.8 billion profit in 6 months

Telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) posted a consolidated core net income of P20.8 billion ($433 million), up 11 percent on year, in the first six months 2009, on back of increased revenues, company officials said today.

PLDT's consolidated net income grew 2 percent to P19.7 billion (about $410 million) in the first half of 2009.

PLDT officials reported that consolidated service revenues rose 4 percent on year to P72.9 billion (about $1.5 billion).

Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) are stable at P44.1 billion (about $920 million) while consolidated EBITDA margin is at 60 percent of service revenues. Consolidated free cash flow improves to P31.6 billion (about $660 million) for the first half of 2009.

The strong performance of the wireless service unit bolstered PLDT's revenues in the first half. Wireless service revenues increased five percent to P48.1 billion (about $1 billion) thanks to an expanding customer base.

PLDT's cellular subsidiaries, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Pilipino Telephone Corporation (Piltel) continue to dominate the market, thanks to aggressive marketing, continuous system improvement and offering of more affordable rates to its subscribers. The subscriber base for the first half of 2009 expanded by 16 percent to P38.5 million.

"We are very conscious of the need to adapt our service offerings to the needs of our subscribers and the economic conditions. We offer the best value at the lowest price," Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT and Smart, said in a statement.

SmartBro, the Smart's wireless broadband service -- through its wholly-owned subsidiary Smart Broadband, Inc. -- continued to expand as its wireless broadband subscriber base grew 26 percent to 689,000.

Wireless broadband revenues grew 30 percent to P2.6 billion (about $54 million) in the first half of 2009.

Fixed-line service revenues increased by 3 percent to P25.4 billion (about $530 million) on significant gains in data revenues, both from corporate data and residential services. E-PLDT, the group's information and communications technology arm, reported service revenues of P5.2 billion (about $108 million) in the first half of 2009, up 5 percent on year.

"While our first half performance remained robust, we are slightly concerned about what the second semester may bring the third quarter is traditionally the slowest one in the year and we worry that the adverse effects of the global economic crisis may have a lagged effect on our economy," PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a statement.

Despite these concerns, Pangilinan is optimistic that PLDT will continue to perform strongly for the rest of the year. He expects PLDT to post a core profit of P41 billion (about $854 million) for 2009.

"We are seeing some signs that consumers generally may be wary about spending or committing to spend. Nonetheless, I remain confident that we are up to the challenge. We have faced tough times before and come out a stronger and better company," he said.

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