MANILA (Thomson Financial) Globe Telecom Inc, the Philippines
secondlargest mobile phone operator, saw a healthy increase in its mobile
phone subscriber base in the last quarter of 2007, its president said Thursday.
It was healthy and in line with our expectations, said Globe president Gerardo
Ablaza. He declined to give any figures.
Globe had 19.2 million cellular phone subscribers by the end of September last
year, compared to 28.3 million of main rival Philippine Long Distance Telephone
(nyse: PHI news people ) (PLDT).
On Wednesday, PLDT said its whollyowned mobile phone unit Smart Communications
Inc ended 2007 with more than 30 million subscribers.
Smart, which owns 92 percent of Pilipino Telephone Corp, another mobile phone
operator, added more than a million subscribers in the fourth quarter alone.
The countrys third mobile phone operator, Digital Telecommunications
Philippines Inc (Digitel), has said its subscriber base more than doubled to 5.5
million by early December from a year earlier. It surpassed its target of over 4
million subscribers by the end of 2007.
Subscriber takeup by Philippine mobile phone operators was surprisingly strong
in 2007, after industry executives previously predicted a slower pace of growth
compared to previous years. Stiff competition continued but both Globe and PLDT
reported higher revenue in the first nine months.
Globes core net profit, which strips out the impact of foreign exchange and
marktomarket gains and losses as well as nonrecurring costs related to bond
redemption, jumped 20 percent to a record 10.5 billion pesos in the first nine
For the nine months to September, PLDTs core net profit rose 13 percent to 26.2
billion pesos. This prompted the company to upgrade its fullyear guidance to
34.535 billion pesos from 32 billion pesos previously.
Globe is controlled by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp and partly owned by
PLDT is controlled by Hong Konglisted conglomerate First Pacific Co Ltd (otherotc:
FPAFF.PK news people ) and partly owned by Japanese mobile phone operator
NTT DoCoMo (nyse: DCM news people ).
In contrast, Digitel remained in the red as it continued to spend heavily for
aggressive rollout activities in order to attract more customers.
Digitel posted a net loss of 229 million pesos for the first nine months of 2007
narrower compared to the net loss of 880.5 million pesos recorded in the same
period in 2006. The improvement was attributed to foreign exchange gains.
Digitel, controlled by FilipinoChinese tycoon John Gokongwei, was recently
rumored to have attracted a number of interested buyers including Government of
Singapore Investment Corp.
Last week, Digitel said it had no knowledge of any unsolicited proposal from any
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