PLDT chair Pangilinan 'worried' over GDP contraction even as telco posts profit

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2020 10:04 PM

PLDT Group CEO Manny V. Pangilinan. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan on Thursday said the contraction of the country’s economy was “worrisome” even as the telco bucked the trend for most large companies by posting growth in net income in the first half.

Pangilinan said the 16.5 percent contraction of the Philippine GDP in the second quarter, which has been described as the worst in history based on available data, was “worrisome.”

“How will the 3rd and 4th quarters behave moving forward? Will it impact people's ability to spend on telco products? How severely impacted further will the enterprise sector be affected by this contraction?" Pangilinan said as PLDT disclosed its performance in the January-June period.

PLDT’s telco core net income in the first half stood at P13.9 billion, which was 5 percent higher than in the same period last year.

Total service revenues rose 8 percent to P82.8 billion in the first half of 2020 versus a year ago, PLDT said.

While the company’s profits grew despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Pangilinan said the recession may impact the purchasing power of PLDT’s consumer and enterprise clients.

"These are worrisome issues for us, because it could very well affect our revenues moving forward," Pangilinan added.

Despite this, Pangilinan said the company was “leveling up” its capital expenditure target for 2020 back up to about P70 billion.

Last May, Pangilinan said PLDT’s capex might be reduced to “60 plus billion level” as COVID-19 quarantine measures slowed down its network rollout.

PLDT’s planned capex for 2020 was P83 billion before the pandemic hit. -- Report from Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News