PLDT projects stronger core net income this year
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - PLDT Inc., the listed telecommunications giant chaired by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, is expected to post stronger core net income in the second, third and fourth quarters.

In an interview on Friday, Pangilinan said the company is seeing recovery even in the first quarter of the year but noted that core net income in the first three months may still be lower compared to the 2016 level.

“We’re seeing (recovery) but I did say that our core would be lower in the first quarter than first quarter last year because last year was higher. Revenues were higher so core was higher. We cannot match that,” Pangilinan said, referring to the company’s first quarter performance in 2016 of P7.2 billion.

Last year, PLDT’s consolidated core net income reached P27.9 billion, 21 percent lower compared to 2015 mainly due to lower EBITDA and costs arising from higher capital expenditures to support ongoing expansion of the fixed and mobile networks of PLDT and its mobile subsidiary Smart Communications.

Recurring core income amounted to P20.2 billion, nine percent lower than year ago levels.

But Pangilinan said that starting from the second quarter, PLDT is expected to post stronger quarterly results.

“But for succeeding quarters, we can beat core incomes for the second, third and fourth quarters,” Pangilinan said.

Early this month, in announcing the company’s 2016 results, Pangilinan said that the year 2016 has been a period for resetting of the many dials of the company.

“Profitability has been reset to a lower level, reflecting the impact of the changes in the business, our customer base and our organization. This has provided us a new baseline from which we can build upon, and grow. This new reference point is the P20.2 billion in recurring core income without exceptionals that was attained in 2016. From there, we are setting out to achieve sequential recovery in profitability, starting with an increase in the recurring core income to P21.5 billion in 2017, a growth of six percent – the first time in three years. That will put us back on the path to sustained growth and improving profitability, this year and in the coming years,” Pangilinan said.

The company is pouring in P46 billon for capital expenditures this year as it enters a new phase in its transformation into a digital telecommunications, internet and media company.

PLDT’s share prices have been steadily recovering after hitting a low of P1,266 in November last year. Shares closed at P1,730 on Friday, up 0.64 percent.

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