Wednesday, 3 March 2010

PLDT posts net profit of P41.3b, eyes cost-cutting

by Jeremiah F. de Guzman
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideBusiness.htm?f=2010/march/3/business5.isx&d=2010/march/3

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the country’s biggest telecommunications provider, said Tuesday its 2009 profit rose 15 percent on the back of revenues generated by its phone, Internet and wireless services.

Net profit of P39.8 billion was buoyed by a 2-percent rise in wireless service revenues, including a 17-percent increase in mobile customers, to P41.3 billion, the company said in a statement.

PLDT slightly topped its P41-billion core profit guidance for 2009 but remained cautious in 2010. It said it planned to cut costs to offset higher net financing charges this year.

PLDT chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said in a press briefing that the company expected a slightly higher core net income this year.

“The improvement in revenues will largely offset by the increase in financing expenses we anticipate in 2010,” Pangilinan told reporters.

Corporate data and home Internet services boosted fixed- line revenue, which increased by 4 percent, PLDT said.

Earnings from the 20-percent equity share that PLDT acquired last June in power distributor Manila Electric Co. amounted to P398 million, the company said. Meralco’s net income in 2009 increased to P6 billion from P2.8 billion in 2008.

Pangilinan said service revenues would grow by 3 percent this year from P150 billion in 2009.

He cited strong competition, tight spending and alternative communications such as social networking that threaten PLDT’s mainstream businesses.

He said net financing charges would increase by P3 billion this year as a result of higher debt and lower levels of cash.

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