Broadband provider grows income as customer base expands

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FIBER broadband and tech solutions provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. reported a jump in revenues at the end of the third quarter amid a robust expansion in its residential customer base, surpassing the two-million mark to 2.05 million.

“We’ve seen an uptick in the takeup of our flagship FiberX brand with about 166,000 gross adds during the third quarter, the highest since Q1 2022, while newly introduced brands, Surf2Sawa and Bida Fiber, are strongly contributing to the total customer base with newly acquired subscribers during the quarter reaching almost 60,000,” said Converge chief executive officer and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy during the third-quarter earnings media briefing on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

Uy said they expect to add a million more subscribers by 2025 as they expand their fiber footprint and introduce more affordable products.

“That’s how warm the reception has been and how confident we are in their prospects for continued growth,” he said.

Some 225,000 new subscribers were added in the third quarter alone, up 82 percent from the same period last year and 34 percent higher compared to the previous quarter. This is the highest quarterly increase in the past eight quarters.

Uy said they expect to add a million more subscribers by 2025 as they expand their fiber footprint and introduce more affordable products.

In terms of revenues, the residential business grew by 5.2 percent year-on-year to P22.5 billion during the first nine months of the year while the enterprise business increased by 21.1 percent to P3.8 billion during the period.

Converge chief operations officer Jesus Romero said the enterprise business is expected to contribute more to overall performance as Converge Business expands its offerings to go beyond connectivity.

“On top of our superior fiber connectivity, we are also packaging digital business solutions such as managed and value-added services to help transform businesses and fuel their growth,” said Romero.

Converge’s net income grew four percent to P6.4 billion at the end of September this year versus the year-ago level.

Converge president and co-founder Maria Grace Uy said robust growth prospects remain as the company continues to monetize its investments into its fiber network with FiberX gaining customers in newly opened areas like North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and the low-cost postpaid Bida Fiber and S2S prepaid fiber internet showing encouraging traction in the more mature markets such as Central Luzon, South Luzon and Metro Manila.

“We’ve invested ahead in our network so all these new connections are accretive to us. Our goal now is to further increase the utilization of our fiber network which is the broadest in the country,” she said.

As of end-September 2023, Converge has deployed nearly 7.9 million fiber ports, making it the widest fiber to the home network in the country. This network now passes 16.7 million homes, covering 77.85 percent of the country’s population.

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