Globe sees moderate growth this year

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MANILA, Philippines — Globe Telecom expects to post moderate growth at best this year as higher expenses, including costs related to the joint acquisition with PLDT of San Miguel’s telecommunications business, weighed on its first quarter earnings.

Nevertheless, Globe officials expressed confidence in continued growth as revenues continue to rise despite falling subscriber numbers.

Because of the higher expenses, Globe’s net income for the first quarter fell 13 percent to P3.8 billion from the P4.3 billion in the same period last year amid a 4 percent increase in revenues to P31 billion, attributed to the company’s expanding digital play.

While Globe lost about 4 million subscribers — from 62.8 million in the last quarter of 2016 to 58.6 million in the first quarter of 2017 — officials said this included a cleanup of inactive accounts. They also noted that mobile revenues grew despite fewer subscribers.

“Despite this increase in churn, mobile revenues grew 3 percent against the same period last year, attesting to the quality of our active subscriber base,” Globe CECO Ernest Cu said.

Globa officials also brushed off the Philippine Competition Commission’s move to seek Supreme Court approval for a review of the San Miguel deal.

“The PCC right now is restrained from doing anything on the transaction so it’s business as usual for Globe. So far as we are concerned we are not restrained by any regulatory agency or by the courts,” general counsel Froilan Castelo said.

Coming off a recent P8-billion loan with BDO, Globa CFO Rizza Eala said they are still looking at raising P10-20 billion for the year.

“We have access to bilateral loans and you also know that we got approval from the board for a P40-billion retail bond offering although we have not filed for the P40-billion retail bonds so we can access some of that as well if we determine that our financing mix would continue to have access, whether a retail bond issue or tap the banks for bilaterals,” Eala said, adding they are just waiting an ideal market rate and timing as other corporates also look to access the bond market.