TELECOMMUNICATION giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) expects core profits to exceed P41 billion this year as its first-half income reached P21.7 billion, up by 10 percent in the same period in 2009.

MANILA. PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan expects core profits to exceed P41 billion on 2010 for the telecommunications giant. (Virgil Lopez)

The company said that consolidated core net income for the first-half grew at two percent from the P20.8 billion recorded in the same period last year.

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PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno attributed the rise in revenue to higher recurring net income and a net gain from foreign exchange revaluation of the company's financial assets and liabilities.

Core net income excludes foreign exchange and mark-to-market gains and losses, as well as sharp gains.

Consolidated service revenues, on the other hand, dipped by one percent to P72.2 billion due to 13 percent decline in cellular data/text revenues.

However, these were offset by the three-percent uptick in voice revenues and the 21-percent jump in broadband/internet and corporate data revenues.

“Revenues from text and cellular data have declined 13 percent compared to last year but the volume increased by 27 percent," Nazareno told reporters at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

"To keep up with competition, we have unlimited offers that were carefully crafted. Also, we are looking at the growth of broadband to propel revenues. We have to move forward and try to offset the losses in text revenues,” he added.

PLDT said that its cellphone providers, Smart, Talk N’ Text and Red Mobile have an accumulated subscriber base of 45.3 million as of end-June, for a year-on-year growth of 18 percent.

The company added that four million new subscribers were registered in the first half of 2010, a 22-percent increase from the same period last year.

“It’s really a function of price. We have four million new subscribers in the first half. We have a fixed service cost but competition drives the price down to 12 centavos per text,” said PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

He added: “The decline in revenues from cellular/text services is slightly marginal and we know that we can offset that completely in the next few months or years through better services.”

Broadband growth

Meantime, PLDT is looking at the broadband segment as the company pegged capital expenditures for 2010 at P28.6 billion.

“Wireless broadband continues to be a strong engine for growth and viability," said Orlando Vea, chief wireless adviser of Smart Communications.

"We have been re-architecting to be a truly smart pipe, ready for the next big wave when mobile broadband devices, applications, multimedia platforms, and the cloud environment fuse together explosively down at the mass-market level,” he added.

The company said the combined broadband subscriber base grew 21 percent to 1.96 million in the first semester from the same period last year, with PLDT DSL, SmartBro, and WeRoam adding 340,000 subscribers. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)