PLDT Q3 income down, year-to-date profit up 1.4%

PANGILINAN-LED PLDT Inc. reported P9.43 billion in attributable net income for the third quarter (Q3), down 12% from P10.71 billion a year earlier, amid a challenging economic environment.

Still, the company considers its showing for the period as robust, said Alfredo S. Panlilio, president and chief executive officer of PLDT, at the company’s press briefing on Tuesday.

“We had a very good third quarter. For some reason, it is still very strong,” he said, adding that the company recorded strong revenues for the period.

In the third quarter, the company’s combined revenues rose by 1.9% to P52.32 billion from P51.35 billion in the same period last year.

Service revenues accounted for the bulk of the quarter’s combined revenues at P50.50 billion, up 2.6% from P49.22 billion a year ago. Non-service revenues declined by 14.6% to P1.82 billion from P2.13 billion previously.

Cost and expenses declined by 1.6% to P38.25 billion from P38.87 billion a year earlier.

Year to date, the company saw its attributable net income climb by 1.4% to P27.88 billion from P27.50 billion a year ago as its service revenues reached a historic high, Mr. Panlilio said.

For the nine months to September, the company recorded combined revenues of P156.36 billion, up 2.8% from P152.13 billion in the same period last year, its financial report showed.

Service revenues contributed the biggest share, accounting for P149.75 billion, a 2.8% increase from P145.72 billion last year.

Non-service revenues rose 45.3% to P6.42 billion from P4.42 billion in the same period in 2022.

“Now more than ever, we are witnessing how the power of technology and digital services impact Filipinos’ standard of living, with innovations bringing convenience, comfort, productivity, and security to improve overall quality of life. Our mission at PLDT is to enable our countrymen with the tools and connectivity needed to enhance their digital lifestyles,” Mr. Panlilio said.

PLDT is optimistic about ending the year with a robust performance, said Manuel V. Pangilinan, its chairman, adding that he is positive that the company will be able to perform well amid a “tough economic environment.”

“The company has done reasonably well against a tough inflationary environment, relatively high interest rates, and a slowing economic growth,” he said.

For the nine-month period, PLDT’s EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased to an all-time high of P78.36 billion from P75.52 billion last year, which translated to a margin of 52%.

“The 52% is we’re pushing for more revenues for managing costs to sustain the EBITDA margin. We’re targeting high. Hopefully, we can reach 54-55% by increasing revenues,” Mr. Panlilio said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pangilinan said that Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is in talks with San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on a possible collaboration or a joint venture that will focus on tollways.

“Yes, we are looking at other areas where we can cooperate, for example in the case of tollways. If we manage to combine two tollways, I think it will be a candidate to list in the stock exchange and it will be a significant company,” he said.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is the tollways unit of MPIC.

Last month, Ramon S. Ang, president and chief executive officer of SMC, was elected to the board of MPIC after making an indirect investment in his personal capacity.

Separately, a unit of MPTC — MPCALA Holdings, Inc. — announced that the 3.9-kilometer Silang (Aguinaldo) Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) will open on Wednesday.

The interchange is deemed crucial in decongesting highways in Cavite as it is expected to cater to an additional 5,000 motorists per day.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

Neil Banzuelo

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