WITH its mission to deliver “#1stWorldNetwork” connectivity to Filipinos, Globe invested an all-time high P92.8 billion in capital expenditure (capex) in 2021, besting 2020’s record level spending by 54 percent. Total capex for 2021 represented 61 percent of gross service revenues and 124 percent of Ebitda. About 86 percent of the capex went to data-related requirements in order to serve the rising demands of Filipinos consumers who access the internet to carry on with their daily activities, maintain business operations and deliver critical services.

For 2022, the company is committing capex of ଑P89 billion to continue its aggressive network expansion that includes new cell site builds, upgrading more existing sites to 4G/LTE, accelerating rollout of 5G connectivity and fast-tracking the fiberization of Filipino homes nationwide and further boosting the internet quality and coverage in the Philippines. Globe’s massive network investments attest to its strong support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, which aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. More importantly, Globe continues to champion the United Nations Global Compact principles.

Furthermore, Globe built 1,407 new cell sites nationwide in 2021 including both 4G LTE and 5G, upgraded over 22,300 mobile sites and installed over 2,000 5G outdoor sites and in building solutions (IBS) as of end-December of 2021. While on the fixed line front, Globe installed over 1.4 million FTTH lines, even surpassing its revised target for the year. Globe’s aggressive network expansion and upgrade across the country have shown significant improvements based on the latest report of global internet speed monitor Ookla®1. The report showed that the Philippines logged better internet speeds in December, improving in both mobile and fixed broadband rankings as it sustained a steady climb. The country rose nine places to 63 out of 178 in median fixed broadband connectivity, recording a median download speed of 50.26 Mbps, up from 46.44 in November. Mobile connectivity also improved to 19.20 Mbps median download speed, up from 18.68 the month prior. This pushed the Philippines up a notch to 89th out of 138 countries. Specific to Globe alone, Ookla’s Q4 2021 data showed that Globe registered a 51 percent improvement on download speeds and 24 percent on upload speeds, versus its Q1 2021 performance. Globe’s consistency score also steadily rose, significantly improving from 70.59 in Q1 2021 to 78.82 in Q4 2021, at par with global benchmarks. As for Speed ScoreTM, Globe markedly improved from 12.27 in Q1 2021 to 18.51 in Q4 2021.

In addition, as of end-December 2021, Globe logged over 1.62 million devices in its 5G network, as it now reaches 96 percent of Metro Manila and 84 percentof key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao in terms of 5G outdoor coverage. Globe is continuously migrating its customers to 5G-enabled devices with 5G-specific data offers and budget-friendly 5G devices so that customers can experience the full power of the new technology. Globe also added 5G roaming services in more countries in Europe, making it the only Philippine telco with the widest 5G coverage in the continent. Globe continues to partner with more 5G-ready telcos around the world to allow customers to enjoy a high-speed data roaming experience that’s convenient and easy to use.

Financial Highlights: Home Broadband and Corporate Data business sustained its growth momentum

Globe closed the year with record consolidated service revenues of P151.5 billion, up four percent from P146.4 billion reported in 2020 and surpassing 2019’s pre-pandemic level by two percent. Home Broadband and Corporate Data drove the topline expansion given the increased data consumption among the Filipinos for work, education, health care, business, entertainment and essential social interactions. Total data revenues across mobile, broadband and corporate data accounted for 80 percent of total service revenues from 76 percent in 2020.

On a sequential basis, Globe’s fourth quarter gross service revenues were relatively flat versus the strong third quarter. In December 2021, Typhoon Odette caused unprecedented damage in the southern and central parts of the Philippines and hampered the revenue momentum in the fourth quarter, directly through its impact on subscribers, businesses and infrastructure in the affected areas.

Mobile business revenues as of end-December of 2021 improved by one percent from 2020’s P103.7 billion mostly coming from the prepaid brands. Total mobile revenues comprised 69 percent of the total service revenues, with total mobile subscriber base now reaching P86.8 million, or 13 percent higher from the year earlier.

From a product view, mobile data revenues posted a record P77.8 billion in 2021 from P72.4 billion in 2020, as more and more Filipinos accelerated their use of digital applications and services amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Mobile data now accounts for 75 percent of mobile revenues from 70 percent in 2020. Mobile data traffic also soared to 3,733 petabytes in 2021 from 2,517 petabytes the previous year, which translates to a 48 perent growth year-on-year. Meanwhile, mobile voice and mobile SMS revenues ended at P17.2 billion and P9.4 billion, lower year-on-year by 15 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Home Broadband business sustained its double-digit growth, posting a 10 percent year-on-year increase from the P26.8 billion generated in 2020 to a new record-high of P29.4 billion as of end-December of 2021. This even surpassed 2019 pre-pandemic revenues by 35 percent. This was achieved despite the fact that the fourth quarter performance was partly muted by the impact of rebates given to affected customers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions due to Typhoon Odette, coupled with lower spending on telco products in these areas as customers reserved their money for contingencies. The aggressive fiber rollout in 2021 also resulted in an increased take up of FTTH lines of 208 percent and fiber revenues growing by 183 percent against a year ago. With Globe’s sustained massive fiber rollout, making it available and more affordable to Filipino homes and businesses nationwide, Globe’s Home Broadband is now poised to transform the market landscape with its great value proposition to attract more customers moving forward. Total home broadband subscriber base now stands at 3.7 million. As of end-December of 2021, HPW data traffic surged to 808 petabytes from 545 petabytes in 2020.

Likewise, Corporate Data’s business’ full-year 2021 revenues posted a 12 percent increase from P12.6 billion as of end-December 2020 to a record P14.2 billion. This was largely attributed to the growth from domestic services and information and communication technology (ICT). Improvement in ICT revenues came mostly from business application services and cloud solutions.

Meanwhile, total operating expenses including subsidy posted P76.6 billion for the period, or five percent higher a year ago. This period’s higher spending was mainly to support its aggressive network upgrades and site builds, as well as to improve the customer experience. Part of the increase in expenses particularly in the fourth quarter was also for the restoration and repair as well as services costs resulting from Typhoon Odette. Combined with the rebates given to broadband customers and the impairment costs from network-related damages, Typhoon Odette’s impact on fourth quarter operations totaled P2.2 billion.

Full-year 2021 total consolidated Ebitda stood at P74.9 billion, up two percent versus 2020 due to the four percent improvement in the topline. Ebitda margin for the period slightly contracted to 49 percent from last year’s 50 percent. However, adjusted for the effects of Typhoon Odette on revenues and operating expenses, Ebitda margin would have remained at 50 percent. With higher Ebitda and lower non-operating expenses and taxes which fully offset the increase in depreciation charges, net income reached a record P23.7 billion or 27 percent higher than the P18.6 billion reported last year. Lower non-operating expenses this period was mainly due to the gain of P4.3 billion from the deemed sale of investment in Mynt and partly offset by the impairment costs amounting to P1.2 billion from the network-related damages caused by Typhoon Odette, coupled with the upside impact of Create law in Vega and higher equity share in affiliates. Excluding the effects of the extraordinary items, including the Create normalize net income would have been 19.4 billion, or down by 15 percent year-on-year. Accordingly, core net income, which excludes the impact of non-recurring charges and foreign exchange and mark-to-market charges, posted P21.2 billion, a nine percent increase from a year ago.

Globe’s balance sheet remained strong and gearing comfortably within bank covenants despite the increase in debt from P167.6 billion in 2020 to P210.1 billion in 2021. Globe’s gross debt to equity is at 1.84x while gross debt to Ebitda is at 2.65x; Net debt to equity ratio is at 1.62x while net debt to Ebitda is 2.35x; and debt service coverage ratio is at 4.54x.

“Globe showed admirable resilience in 2021 despite the pandemic and the devastation of Typhoon Odette in the country. We have emerged to be an outstanding digital services enabler by rapidly adapting our strategies to address both the challenges and the opportunities created by the global health crisis and natural disasters. As a result, our financial performance remained stable and posted healthy growth, enabling us to reinvest back into our network as customer data demands grow larger each year. We invested ₱92.8 billion in capex for 2021 and have earmarked ₱89 billion for 2022, to give Filipinos better, more meaningful digital experiences,” Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom Inc., said.

“We are optimistic that our strategy to focus on innovation to serve our customers better and to address their needs and concerns through various digital platforms, backed by our strong network, will solidify our leading position in the market. Rest assured that we will continue to revamp and upscale our services in order to secure the future of a digitally transformed Philippines,” Cu added.

Going beyond Telco to help empower the Filipino digital lifestyle

Globe is doubling down on its shift to become a digital solutions platform using the core telco business and spurred by rapid consumer digital adoption. The company currently offers several diverse high-growth enterprises in healthtech, fintech, adtech and e-commerce, among others. GCash, the undisputed leader in fintech platform operated by Mynt, is committed to maintain its status by introducing innovative products boosting its engagement with users. As of end-December 2021, GCash now has 55 million registered users, 4.5 million merchants and social sellers, 290 GLife merchant partners and around 174,000 cash-in, cash-out agents. GCash also more than tripled its gross transactions handled to P3.8 trillion in 2021 from the record P1.2 trillion reported in 2020. GCash now reached positive full-year Ebitda and already achieved profitability three years ahead of its target. As of 2021, GCash is the only double unicorn in the Philippines.

Other portfolio companies under Globe’s corporate builder 917Ventures include telehealth service platforms KonsultaMD and HealthNow. KonsultaMD and HealthNow both reported significant growth in consultations. HealthNow is also leading the CovidVaccination Program for the Ayala Group and its partners. 917Ventures also has adtech company AdSpark, loyalty and e-commerce solutions provider Rush and online grocery shopping platform PureGo.
  • KonsultaMD is likewise exhibiting strong growth with more than 140 percent revenue growth, reaching over onemillion members (+168 percent YoY) across 50,000 retail outlets nationwide. To further expand its reach, KonsultaMD is now also partnering with over 60 brands and utilizing social media app Tiktok.
  • HealthNow has 800,000 customers, processing 15,000 to 20,000 medicine delivery orders daily and Ayala Group’s technology partner in administering one million Covid-19 vaccinations.
  • AdSpark, the award-winning and largest locally based ad agency generated over P1.2 billion revenue in 2021, higher by 32 percent from full-year 2020.
  • Rush, the leading loyalty solutions provider in the Philippines now has 3.8 million registered users and is now generating more than 100 percent revenue growth versus full-year 2020.
  • PureGo has been quickly expanding its reach and is now available in all cities in NCR, Cavite, Bulacan and Rizal. It’s an online grocery shopping platform that has posted over 75 percent growth in sales since January 2021.
Another 917Ventures portfolio company, EdVenture, is an online learning platform that provides support to parents, teachers and other school stakeholders. It offers online tutorials for students, online consultation for parents and professional opportunities for Filipino teachers. EdVenture is extending a P500 voucher for any simgle tutorial session. This is part of the firm’s initiative to help parents with their children’s education especially in the wake of tighter restrictions due to Covid-19.

Moreover, Globe continues to scale up its information technology solutions and services through the multi-payment platform Electronic Commerce Payments Inc. (ECPay) which now has a general trade retail base of over 89,000. Globe's corporate venture capital arm Kickstart Ventures now has $255 million aggregate assets under management from a mere $2.4 million in 2012, focusing on among others, media, content and advertising, fintech and logistics tech.

Likewise, Globe’s wholly owned subsidiary, Asticom Technology Inc., a shared services company, showed significant revenue growth at a CAGR of 33 percent since 2015. Asticom has formed four subsidiaries: Asti Business Services Inc. (Absi), Fiber Infrastructure and Network Services Inc. (Finsi), Brad Warehouse and Logistics Services and HCX Technology Partners Inc. as it aspires to be the leading-edge local solutions provider for the telecommunications and technology industries. Asticom now manages about 4,500 people from five employees in 2015, and serves more than 120 clients from all over the country.

Commitment to Sustainability
  • As the country’s leader in mobile, Globe debuted the first-ever Eco-SIM cards in Asia for its postpaid mobile customers, contributing to environmental sustainability by recycling refrigerator waste. Together with its partner Thales, Globe has deployed Eco-SIM cards starting November 2021, made from 100 percent recycled materials including polystyrene waste from refrigerators, diverting this waste stream from landfills. Thales has been in the Philippines since 2010, and is a strategic partner to key customers in the civil aviation, defense, digital security, air traffic management and ground transportation sectors.
  • Globe customers have raised P1,925,284 worth of Globe and TM Rewards points to help survivors of Typhoon Odette, sending critical aid to families reeling from the impact of the deadly December storm. The donations have been turned over to Globe’s partner organizations—the Ayala Foundation, GMA Kapuso Foundation and Rise Against Hunger Philippines. To date, relief efforts led by Globe and its partner organizations have now reached over 10,000 families in Palawan, the Visayas and Mindanao. With thousands of Filipinos affected by the disaster still in need of urgent help, Globe continues to send out a call for support to its customers.
Globe is also extending its A2P messaging service to affected local government units (LGUs) in Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao to aid their ongoing community disaster recovery operations in the wake of powerful Typhoon Odette. Through its portfolio company M360, managed by its corporate venture builder 917Ventures, Globe will make available free SMS blasts for 30 days to all LGUs in Odette-stricken areas to help them send public advisories in one click and reach more constituents faster. At least 83 towns devastated by Typhoon Odette in December will benefit from the service. The free SMS blast will be made available until Feb. 28, 2022 for areas with restored wireless networks.
  • A more seamless experience awaits Apple subscribers as Globe removes the one-time activation fee for Facetime and iMessage services. iPhone users are encouraged to activate their Facetime and iMessage now that the activation is free of charge. Facetime allows users to make audio and video calls while iMessage lets them send messages over WiFi or using mobile data. To activate and use Facetime and iMessage on their Apple devices, Globe subscribers using 4G/LTE or 5G SIMs simply need to download and install the latest iOS 15.2 version and Carrier Setting Update only available to the most recent iPhone models (iPhone 6S and later). Customers who are still using 2G or 3G SIMS are strongly encouraged to upgrade to 4G/LTE and 5G SIMS at no extra cost in Globe Stores, in order to enjoy free activation and continue using Facetime and iMessage services.
  • To assist in developing the company’s science-based targets for 2030 and implementation roadmap to achieve Net Zero GHG Emissions by 2050, Globe has partnered with South Pole, a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Climate Action expert, together with the rest of the Ayala Group of companies. Globe has also onboarded AON UK Limited, a Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) expert, to integrate climate-related Risk and Opportunities into the company’s Climate Action Strategy. Lastly, Globe has invested in a Sustainability Software through DNV-Synergi Life, to automate data collection of the company’s ESG metrics especially the company’s GHG emissions, offsets and progress against its targets.
Globe’s Business Operations and Commitment to Service Amid Covid-19
  • In 2021, Globe continued to implement a full work-from-home (WFH) arrangement with a skeletal workforce for critical roles (CSF) as part of its efforts to secure the health and safety of its employees. With national Covid case numbers on a downward trend in the fourth quarter of 2021 and with the vaccines becoming accessible to more Filipinos, Globe had started to plan for the Return to Office (RTO) of its WFH employees and ramping up operations for CSF as early as November 2021. Then to implement a hybrid work arrangement where employees will report to the office at least three times a week beginning Feb. 1, 2022. However, toward the end of November 2021, the omicron variant was detected in South Africa. This new variant reached Philippine shores in early January 2022, with the holiday season becoming the avenue to spread the virus among Filipinos. This resulted in a new wave of infections that led to the Philippine government declaring Alert Level 3, first in Metro Manila and key cities, then to other parts of the country. With the rising cases among employees and their families, Globe decided to postpone the RTO plan to secure employee health and safety. The WFH/CSF arrangement will continue to be in effect, and the RTO plan will be revisited by management once the situation improves. Globe commits to monitor the Covid situation in the country, and implement safeguards to ensure that the company will be able to continue to deliver its commitment in providing telecom services to its customers, while reducing risk of infections among its workforce.
  • Globe’s service channels are ready to provide support to the needs of its customers as tighter restrictions are enforced in Metro Manila and other areas amid a rise in Covid cases. Customer support Hotline Digital Assistant (02) 7-730-1000 is available 24/7 to cater to self-service transactions. Customers may also opt to visit Globe’s official Facebook and Twitter for assistance. Customers can use the new GlobeOne app to register for Prepaid promos, buy load and redeem Rewards points. They can also submit a request for service or account reconnection through the old GlobeOne app. Broadband Postpaid customers may access the official Globe At Home app to view and pay bills, upgrade plans and book a technician visit. Globe also assures customers that technicians are ready to help with broadband connection concerns within 24 to 48 hours upon request.
For recent updates on how Globe is responding to Covid-19, the general public may access the Globe website via this link: https://www.globe.com.ph and the Globe #StayAtHome page via this link: https://www.globe.com.ph/stay-safe-at-home.html

Restoration Efforts due to Super Typhoon Odette

Due to strong winds and torrential rains brought by super typhoon Odette on Dec. 16, 2021, Globe’s data and mobile services have been affected in selected areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. Outages were caused by multiple fiber cuts and the lack of commercial power. In the aftermath of Typhoon Odette, about 40 towers were affected across Visayas and Mindanao. The highest impact was reported in Cebu, Negros, Bohol and Leyte. There were about 20 towers badly hit in Cebu. Globe’s field operations teams in the Visayas and and Mindanao are continuously working to restore mobile and data services in areas that were affected by the Typhoon. To date, Globe has restored network services in more towns in Bohol, Cebu and Leyte, bringing the Visayas closer to completion. Globe, through the help of LGUs, has made it possible to hasten restoration efforts across different provinces hit by the typhoon. On Dec. 18, 2021, Globe extended a one-day unlimited text to all networks to typhoon-affected Globe and TM prepaid customers. The promo comes with unlimited calls to Globe and TM numbers only. Eligible Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi customers also received free 5GB valid for three days for their registered prepaid WiFi modems. Affected customers also received a free one-month subscription to KonsultaMD for their medical needs. Aside from these, Globe set up Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging stations to provide assistance to affected kababayans. Globe also provided free and unlimited GoWiFi in select malls, government offices and airports in the Visayas and Mindanao areas affected by the typhoon. Customers may also share their support to affected kababayans by donating their Globe Rewards points to partner organizations like GMA Kapuso Foundation and Rise Against Hunger Philippines via the New GlobeOne app to assist them in relief operations in affected areas. This includes Bohol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. The Ayala Group through Ayala Foundation also supported affected families through #BrigadangAyala Typhoon Odette response efforts in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Palawan and Surigao del Norte. For recent updates, the general public may access the Globe website via this link: https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/newsroom/corporate/Typhoon-odette-service-advisory.html

Recent Developments
  • Congress recently passed the Amended Public Service Law which removes telcos from the public utility classification. Effectively, the 60-40 percent Filipino versus foreign ownership under the Philippine Constitution shall no longer apply to telcos. Telcos are now classified “as a public service with critical infrastructure.” Foreign ownership in critical infra can be up to 50 percent and can be higher if the country of the foreign company provides reciprocity of investment by Philippine nationals. However, for critical infras and public utilities that may be organized in the future, entities controlled by foreign governments or foreign state enterprises are prohibited from owning capital in them. This will not affect existing telcos but no additional capital investments will be allowed. Sovereign wealth funds and independent pension funds may own up to 30 percent. The president of the Philippines may suspend or prohibit any proposed merger or acquisition or any direct or indirect investment in a public service by a foreigner or a foreign corporation. The implementing rules is yet to be released by Neda on this matter.
  • Congress also passed the SIM Card Registration Act whereby a Public Telecommunications Entity (PTE) shall be required to register sim cards at the point of sale or before the activation of the SIM card. Likewise, social media providers are required to register the real names and telephone numbers of social media account users upon creation of the account. Within 180 days from effectivity, existing and active subs are required to register their SIMs with a possible extension of 120 days. PTEs are authorized to automatically deactivate unregistered sims after the deadline. NTC shall formulate the guidelines for the implementation of this law. SPONSORED CONTENT