Telecommunications

PLDT Inc.’s 1H2020 earnings up despite COVID-19 disruption

Philippine digital service provider PLDT Inc. reported higher earnings in the first half of 2020 amid the imposed government lockdowns in an effort to contain COVID-19. The telco’s income is up by 5% to P13.9 billion with service revenues also up by 8% to P82.9 billion.

With the increase use of technology during the quarantine, employees work from home to ensure business continuity. This spurred PLDT’s data and broadband revenues — accounted for 71% of service revenues — which reached P59 billion, up by P9 billion. PLDT Home tops the revenue earning units with 79%, followed by Consumer Wireless Individual with 73% and Enterprise with 69%.

PLDT Home revenues for the 1H 2020 reached P19.6 billion, a 7% increase from a year ago.


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PLDT Enterprise segment, which has been launching several products geared toward small and medium enterprises, also reported an increase in service revenues with P20.3 billion, up 5% from the previous year. PLDT said revenue growth was driven by wireless services which increased 23% to P3.8 billion, while ICT revenues grew 4% to P2.2 billion. Fixed-line services rose 1% to P14.2 billion.

COVID-19

The Consumer and Enterprise Business Groups accounted for 96% of service revenues.

“COVID-19 has set our agenda for the foreseeable future,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair, president and CEO of PLDT Inc, in the media advisory. “At the outset, our task was clearly to keep people connected as the country went into lockdown. Moving forward, we will grow our business by helping our customers — and the country — rebuild their lives and livelihoods with powerful connectivity like fiber, 4G and now 5G, combined with innovative digital solutions.”

The telco said its core income (excluding Voyager Innovations) for the first half 1H2020 increased 5% to P13.9 billion, with 2Q2020 at P7 billion.

Smart

Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), the wireless communications and digital services subsidiary of PLDT, reported “about 30% from February to May” in mobile data usage.

According to PLDT’s report, “Smart’s gains in mobile data usage is best illustrated by the huge increase in its share of Facebook traffic, the most widely used social media service in the country. Its share of Facebook traffic grew from 44.5% In September 2019 to 54.63% in July 2020.”

“While our CAPEX or investment strategy is premised on our short-term requirements, it is always with an eye to the future,” Pangilinan said. “Yes, it may seem simple as turning on a switch but that switch is part of a complex network system, with multiple layers of technology elements, embedded over years of investments. And we will not stop investing in our networks, in our people, in our country. Our promise is this — to keep improving and upgrading your connections so that all facets of life — be it work, education, family, health, business — will benefit.”