Industry giant PLDT Inc. painted an optimistic outlook for 2018 as shareholders worry about the drop in its market value and with the specter of new competitors looming.
During the telco’s annual meeting yesterday, PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan described the company’s direction as “encouraging,” a follow-up from its first quarter 2018 results that showed slight recovery in its wireless business after successive periods of decline.
“2016 was an extremely tough year, 2017 was a year to stabilize the business, and 2018 should see a return to growth in revenue and profitability,” Pangilinan said.
Some stockholders are growing impatient, as PLDT saw its share price drop 30 percent from the level during its annual meeting last year.
Pangilinan sought to allay worries, noting the decline was due to a mix of factors, including the underlying economic environment and the fast-changing nature of the telco business.
He also cited the Duterte administration’s initiative to lure a new telco contender.
“Part of it is the uncertainly in the industry flowing from the introduction of the third telco player. Until that matter is resolved with some degree of certainty, the share price is under pressure,” he said during the meeting.
The government is currently crafting the rules it will use to determine how a set of valuable radio frequencies will be awarded to a third player.
Pangilinan, meanwhile, said the company would boost its wireless business by better monetizing mobile internet. He said he was still seeing its home and enterprise units as the segments that would “continue to power overall growth.” Home and enterprise account for almost half of total revenue.
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