The Philippines' PLDT has reported a 20% drop in net income for the first nine months of the year to 21.7 billion pesos ($442 million) due to higher capex costs and declining revenues.
Revenue fell 2% year-on-year to 125.4 billion pesos, but remained stable when excluding the impact of international and national long distance as well as interconnection costs.
Fixed line revenues grew 7% to 46.8 billion pesos, driven by demand for data and broadband, which grew to account for 59% of fixed line revenues.
But wireless revenues shrank 8% to 71 billion pesos, despite a 22% increase in wireless data and digital platform revenues. SMS and cellular domestic revenues by contrast declined 15%, and international voice revenues were 24% lower.
PLDT's consumer wireless business reported a 5% decrease in subscribers due to aggressive unlimited voice and SMS offers from the competition, the company said.
PLDT has set aside 48 billion towards a network improvement program covering both fixed and mobile networks, and made major improvements in the coverage and capacity of mobile unit Smart's mobile network during the nine-month period.
Based on the operator's results thus far, PLDT has reduced its projected full year ebitda by 4 billion pesos to 60 billion pesos. The company is accordingly projecting a consolidated core net income of 28 billion pesos.
“We are making this adjustment, anticipating that while data and broadband will keep posting steady growth, toll, cellular voice and SMS revenues will, however, continue to wane,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.