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NEWS UPDATES 5 August 2009

Philippine telecom giant posts 2% increase in H1 profit

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The Philippine telecom industry reported modest profits in the first half amid slowing growth, tighter competition, and regulators’ attempts to put a check on margins, reported the Manila Times.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) said its net income at end-June inched up two percent to 19.7 billion peso year-on-year. In the second quarter alone, the country’s largest telecom company saw its earnings rise 15 percent to 10.14 billion peso from 8.8 billion peso last year. ($1=48 peso)

Excluding foreign-exchange adjustments and other non-recurring items, PLDT’s core income increased to 20.8 billion peso from 18.7 billion peso in the first semester, and by 13 percent to 10.62 billion peso in the second quarter.

Separately, Globe Telecom Inc. said its first-half net income rose 17 percent to 7.2 billion peso year-on-year, while its second-quarter earnings increased 16 percent to 3.25 billion peso.

Excluding non-recurring items, the country’s second largest telco reported a 3-percent rise in core income to 6.9 billion peso in the first semester, but incurred a two percent decline in the second quarter to 3.2 billion peso.

The marginal increases in core income owed to slower growth as PLDT and Globe reported a 4-percent and 2-percent rise in consolidated service revenues to 72.9 billion peso and 31.7 billion peso, respectively, in the first six months of the year.

The main driver of economic expansion, consumer spending slowed sharply to 0.8 percent in the first quarter, with transportation and communication expenditure growth falling to 4 percent from 12 percent in the same period last year.

“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,” Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman said, adding that consumers generally may be wary about spending or committing to spend.


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