PLDT to Maintain Capital Spending at Record Level to prepare for Telstra entry

By Money Times

Nov 24, 2015 03:25 AM EST

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. will allocate another record level 43 billion pesos ($915 million) in capital spending this year to defeat domestic competition and prepare for the possible entry of Telstra Corp. to the Philippines.

Bloomberg reported that the Philippine's biggest carrier is suffering from a declining profit for a third consecutive year and lost nearly 3 million mobile-phone subscribers in 2016. Chairman Manuel Pangilinan announced that more changes should be expected in the next few weeks. The company is also considering appointing a new chief executive to handle its digital operations and decide whether to remove one of its mobile brands.

"To some degree, we fell into that trap of complacency because we were the incumbent," Pangilinan said. "So it's a lesson for us."

Meanwhile, Rappler reported that Pangilinan said they will be ready for Australia's Telstra Corporation Limited's entry to the Philippines in partnership with conglomerate San Miguel Corporation.

"We'll be ready for them. We need to be ready. It will be a problem for all networks," said Pangilinan.

According to the Philippine Star PLDT expects to meet, and perhaps even exceed, its net income guidance of 35 billion pesos in 2016. However, it is cautious as Telstra is considering entering the country next year.

Pangilinan said that based on their track record for the nine months that ended September, the company is averaging 9 billion pesos, which means hitting 35 billion pesos by the end of the year is attainable. The company earned 27.1 billion pesos in the first three quarters of the year, which is lower than the 28.6 billion pesos it earned in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the company's net income also dropped to 25.3 billion in the first three quarters of the year from 28 billion pesos in the same period last year. That represents a nine percent decrease.

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