The Philippines' PLDT has reported a 5% decline in core net profit for the first quarter, mainly as a result of lower ebitda and higher financing costs.
Profit declined to 9.3 billion pesos, while revenue remained flat at 42.6 billion pesos. Service revenues dipped 2% to 40.5 billion pesos, due to shrinking traditional SMS and long distance revenues.
Data revenues conversely grew 11% to 11.2 billion pesos, with data and broadband accounting for 27% of total group service revenues.
Wireless broadband revenues grew 2% to 2.5 billion pesos, while PLDT's fixed broadband business reported a 10% higher revenue of 3.5 billion pesos.
Capex meanwhile increased by 700 million pesos to 3 billion pesos, as the company spent on expanding its 3G and 4G networks, enhancing indoor and outdoor coverage and increasing its fiber reach and capacity.
PLDT said it expects capex to remain elevated in 2015 in light of an expected exponential growth in data traffic.
The company has also been conducting initiatives aimed at increasing mobile data consumption, giving subscribers 30MB of free data usage per day between September 2014 and February 2015.
“We continue to lead in the broadband space where our subscriber count and revenues are growing at a healthy rate,” said Napoleon Nazareno, CEO of PLDT's wireless division Smart.
“Moreover, the unqualified success of our Free Internet promotion just underscores our premise that once exposed to the ease and relevance of being 'on', consumers will pay for data.”