Amidst sustained nationwide economic challenges, Globe Telecom Inc. posted ₱75.5 billion revenues, up 4 percent and netted ₱13 billion income, up 13 percent, for the first six months of 2021.
The telco’s main growth driver continued to be data, mostly from its @Home Broadband business, as the pandemic boosted digital activities among Filipinos.
Globe’s total data revenues accounted for 79 percent of its total service revenues from 76 percent last year.
Although the negative effects of the pandemic on public mobility and the economy lingered, Globe’s mobile business sustained its recovery, growing by 1% year-on-year.
Increased prepaid top-ups due to the growing popularity of its new digital brand GOMO, further improved revenues.
However, on a sequential basis, mobile revenues was relatively flat versus the first quarter.
Total mobile revenues comprised 70 percent of the total service revenues, with total mobile subscriber base of 81.7 million, up 2 percent year-on-year.
From a product view, mobile data revenues posted ₱38.6 billion for the first half of the year from ₱36 billion reported a year ago.
Mobile data now accounts for 73 percent of mobile revenues from 69 percent in the first semester of 2020.
As the pandemic changed the Filipino lifestyle across work, education, entertainment, gaming, health, socializing, and purchasing habits, time spent on mobile applications increased even more.
As a result, mobile data traffic climbed to 1,761 petabytes from 1,106 petabytes in the same period of 2020, which translated to a healthy year-on-year growth of 59 percent.
Meanwhile, mobile voice and mobile SMS revenues ended at ₱9.1 billion and ₱4.8 billion, lower year-on-year by 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
Home Broadband business soared to all-time high revenues of ₱14.5 billion, surpassing the same period last year by 16 percent, driven by the greater reliance of Filipinos on the internet and the swiftly evolving digital tools as the COVID-19 situation persists.
Total home broadband subscriber base reached 4.2 million, besting last year’s record by 47 percent due to higher fixed wireless broadband users, now up by 54% from last year.
On the other hand, the wired broadband subscriber base grew a solid 22 percent versus last year.
Likewise, HPW data traffic steadily increased from 182 petabytes in the same period of 2020 to 423 petabytes this period.
Prepaid fixed-wireless broadband modem sales shot up, along with demand for high-speed postpaid wired solutions as home internet became a vital requirement for households, benefiting @Home Broadband.
On the other hand, corporate Data business revenues increased 8 percent from ₱6.3 billion, mostly from domestic services and information and communication technology (ICT) but fixed line voice declined 10%.
Total operating expenses, including subsidy reached ₱38.1 billion as of end June, exceeding last year’s figures by 12 percent due to increases across expense line items, except for provisions.
Globe’s aggressive network expansion prompted higher spending, which pushed up cost and expenses.
Total consolidated EBITDA closed at ₱37.4 billion, dropping by 3 percent from a year ago due to higher costs and expenses.
This also resulted to EBITDA margin declining from 53 percent a year earlier to only 50 percent.
Despite lower EBITDA, Globe’s net income stood at ₱13 billion for the first semester, up 13 percent from same period of 2020, as the decline in non-operating charges and taxes fully covered for the increase in depreciation expenses.
Lower non-operating expenses this period was mainly due to the significantly lower equity share in Mynt losses, as the latter becomes more profitable.
The telco’s core net income stood at ₱13.2 billion, up 19%, excluding the impact of non-recurring charges, and foreign exchange and mark-to-market charges.
Globe’s balance sheet remained healthy and gearing within bank covenants despite the increase in debt from ₱167.7 billion as of end-December 2020 to ₱185.5 billion.
“We are pleased to report strong financial and operating results for the first half of 2021 with healthy balance sheet and cash flows despite the re-imposition of stricter lockdowns during the second quarter,” President and CEO Ernest L. Cu today (August 6) announced.
“In view of the significant progress in our 5G and fiber rollouts as well as the strengthening of our 4G/LTE network, we remain on track to help the country achieve a #1stWorldNetwork,” he remarked.
“Going forward, we will stay focused on innovation in the areas of fintech, healthcare, education, and e-commerce, among others, to help Filipinos thrive in this pandemic and best position ourselves for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.”
Significantly, Globe invested ₱43.3 billion in the first half of 2021 to improve its network infrastructure and internet connectivity, beating last year’s spending by 107%.
The capex investment was 57 percent of gross service revenues and 116 percent of EBITDA.
Majority, or about 88 percent of the capex spending, went to data network builds to elevate customer experience.
Globe’s aggressive network expansion and network modernization from 3G to 4G LTE/5G , is part of its strategy to make high-speed connectivity accessible for all.
As of the first half of the year, Globe made significant strides in its network expansion with 641 new cell sites, and 8,175 site upgrades which include both 4G LTE and 5G.
On the fixed line front, Globe already surpassed the 600,000 Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) lines delivered in 2020, connecting more households to fiber nationwide
Globe has also been migrating its customers to 4G LTE or 5G technology with SIM and device offers nationwide.
As the pioneer in 5G in the Philippines, Globe’s 5G outdoor coverage is now 92 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR), expanding to a total of 1,759 sites including Bacolod, Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos and Zamboanga City as of end-June this year.
In its quest to achieve the widest 5G coverage worldwide, the telco forged partnerships with more international carriers -USA-based AT&T, Canada-based Telus, South Korea with KT Corp, Mobily of Saudi Arabia, Italy’s Telecom Italia, China’s China Unicom, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Viettel of Vietnam and China Mobile.
Globe aims to launch its 5G Roaming services to more international destinations to give the best 5G network experience to customers.
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