As demand for data and broadband skyrocketed in the pandemic, PLDT Inc. hauled in the highest full year revenues in its history yet, P171.5 billion in 2020, up 9 percent from the preceding year, and netted P24.3 billion earnings, up 8 percent, with P28.1 billion core income, up 4 percent.
The telco’s data/broadband revenues grew 18 percent to P124.5 billion.
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times,” was how PLDT Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Anabelle Chua described it, quoting Charles Dickens.
Still, “There’s no time for a victory lap,” clarified Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of PLDT.
“Our key learnings from the pandemic can be summed up in two words: Transform and Perform,” he explained.
“We have endeavored to keep PLDT at the forefront of digital changes, and we are enabling other companies to similarly adopt the digital mode of doing business.”
However, “Despite PLDT’s stellar performance, it is with great relief that we put 2020 behind us.”
“It is tempting to say that we have seen the worst but 2021 comes with its own set of challenges – a worrisome economic outlook, prolonged uncertainty on the pandemic with possible new waves, mutations and a delayed vaccine rollout and of course, the entry of heightened competition from both new and current players.”
Nevertheless, this year, PLDT expects high single-digit growth, led by its home fixed broadband business with high double digit, followed by wireless and enterprises, both with high single digit growth.
“With confidence built on how we not only weathered but thrived despite the ‘year from hell’ that was 2020, we anticipate more growth in 2021. Anchored on the sustained demand for our data and broadband services, we expect a high single digit increase in consolidated service revenues and telco core income in the vicinity of P29-30 billion. We continue to invest heavily in our networks, looking at another P88-92 billion this year.”
Furthermore, “If we are able maintain our momentum and deliver results as expected, we are prepared to consider paying out a 5% special dividend for 2021, on top of our regular dividend payout of 60%,” he stated.
PLDT also expects its EBITDA to post high single digit growth this year.
In 2020, the telco’s consolidated EBITDA hit an all-time high, growing 7% year-on-year to P88.8 billion, excluding MRP (Manpower Reduction Program) expenses of P2.6 billion, driven by higher service revenues.