PLDT racking up debt; 1H 2023 long-term debt totals 235 billion

PLDT is one of the leading telecommunications and digital services providers in the Philippines, in terms of subscribers and revenues.  It offers telecommunications and digital services across its extensive fiber optic backbone and wireless and fixed-line networks.  As of June 30, 2023, it serves customers of 70.7 million mobile, fixed line, and data services.

To keep up its services PLDT spent 55.6 billion for capital expenditures.  Smart’s, PLDT’s wireless subsidiary, capital expenditures were primarily focused on LTE (4G) coverage and capacity expansion and the rollout of new sites and 5G base stations in key business areas and dense communities nationwide. At the same time, PLDT’s capital expenditures were used to finance fixed line installations; roll-out, expansion, and modernization of the fiber transport network and backbone resiliency; and development of its international submarine cable network.

The capital expenditures were tempered by the proceeds of selling its towers which amounted to 9.7 billion.  Net cash used in investing activities was at 46.6 billion.

The capital expenditure requirements of PLDT proved too much for its cash flow from operations.  Its net cash flows from operating activities were just 42.9 billion, resulting in PLDT availing of long-term debt of 25.5 billion.

As of the end of the first half of 2023, PLDT’s noncurrent interest-bearing financial liabilities totaled 235 billion, an increase of 18 billion from the start of the year’s balance of 217 billion.

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