Globe Telecom lowers 2020 spending plan due to COVID-19 lockdowns

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 10:02 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2020 10:22 AM

A Globe Telecom store in Pasig City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Globe Telecom said Tuesday it lowered its capital expenditure for the year, meant to fund its 5G rollout and expand LTE network coverage, due to delays brought by COVID-19 lockdowns.

The capex guidance for 2020 is now revised lower at P50.3 billion from P63 billion "given the delays in the rollout during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)/MECQ period," the Ayala-led telco said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Despite delays and the COVID-19 pandemic, Globe remains "aggressive" in its network expansion to support the digital lifestyle of Filipinos under the new normal, it said.

For the first half it invested P20.9 billion in its network, up 10 percent compared to last year, bulk of which went to data-related requirements, the telco said.

“Globe’s network has withstood and continues to prove its resilience during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority to keep our network up to speed has allowed us to continuously serve our customers and ensure that communities stay connected during these tough times," president and CEO Ernest Cu said.

Second quarter revenues dropped 4 percent due to the full impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, it said. Consolidated service revenues in the first half declined by 1 percent to P72.4 billion from P72.9 billion in 2019, it said.

Consolidated net income declined by 5 percent to P11.5 billion for the period from P12 billion in the same comparable period, Globe said. Core net income dropped 8 percent year-on-year.

Luzon was placed under lockdown in March. Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan remain under modified ECQ until Aug. 18. [MODIFIED ECQ https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/08/03/20/duterte-again-puts-metro-manila-under-mecq-as-virus-cases-surge]

Globe said it continues to find ways to serve digitally dependent Filipinos who are adjusting with the new normal through its subsidiary 917 Ventures.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), urged telcos to improve services by December or face closure or expropriation.

In a separate briefing, Cu told Duterte that the construction of telco towers is being hindered by a long permitting process.