Telegeography’s CommsUpdate reports that Ayala-led Globe Telecom said full-year consolidated service revenues reached PHP149.0 billion (USD2.9 billion) in 2019, up by 12% from PHP132.9 billion in FY 2018 due to ‘the sustained data revenue growth across the mobile, home broadband and corporate data businesses’.
The group booked Mobile revenues of PHP111.8 billion in the twelve-month period, up 12% from PHP99.5 billion in 2018, with pre-paid services contributing the lion’s share of the total. The telco’s mobile subscriber base rose 27% year-on-year to 94.2 million, while surging demand for video streaming, gaming apps and social media helped drive cellular data revenues up to PHP71.8 billion from around PHP51.0 billion in 2018; mobile data traffic leapt 77.7% from 956 petabytes in 2018 to 1,699 petabytes in 2019.
At its Home broadband division, Globe said that revenues of PHP21.7 billion in 2019 (up 17%) were fuelled by continued subscriber gains – most notably from the pre-paid sector as its Home Prepaid Wi-Fi gained traction; fixed-wireless broadband users reached almost 1.4 million at end-2019, up 40% y-o-y and the total home broadband subscriber base rose 2% to over two million. Furthermore, the launch of the commercial pilot for ‘At Home Air Fiber 5G’ services further expanded Globe’s product suite, offering new connectivity options to deliver high speed broadband access to its broadband customers.
Elsewhere, Corporate data segment sales also improved, climbing 9% to PHP12.8 billion from a year ago, due to ‘the sustained circuit base expansion’, Globe reported. Only Fixed Line Voice bucked the trend, with revenues here falling 10% to PHP2.7 billion in 2019, from close to PHP3.0 billion previously.
Globe’s total EBITDA, meanwhile, reached PHP76.0 billion last year, compared to PHP65.1 billion in FY 2018, due mainly to ‘the strong top-line offsetting the growth in operating expenses’; EBITDA margin for 2019 was 51%, compared to 49% in the previous year. Consolidated net income of PHP22.3 billion marked a 20% improvement from the previous year’s figure of PHP18.6 billion, due to ‘the gains in EBITDA offsetting depreciation charges and non-operating expenses booked for the year just ended’. At 31 December 2019 Globe’s total cash CAPEX reached PHP51.0 billion, up 18% y-o-y, with 79% of annual investment committed to ‘data-related requirements’. Going forward, Globe has revealed that its CAPEX in 2020 will be PHP63 billion (including spill-over commitments from 2019) for continued network expansion and enhancement.
During 2019 Globe added 139% more mobile network sites versus 2018 and also added 28% more 3G and 4G base stations y-o-y, while third-party tests showed a 16% increase in LTE download speeds, a 6% increase in upload speeds, and a 9% increase in latency in the fourth quarter.