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MANILA, March 7 (Reuters) - The Philippines' most valuable
telecoms firm, PLDT Inc, on Tuesday said recurring
income will likely grow in 2017 for the first time in three
years, recovering from a price war and shift to mobile internet
services that have eroded revenue from calls and texts.
PLDT and rival Globe Telecom Inc last year raised
the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte who accused them of failing
to improve services. He gave them a year to reform otherwise he
would open up the telecoms sector to foreign competition.
PLDT, part-owned by Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc and Hong
Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd, said recurring core
income is likely to reach 21.5 billion pesos ($427.61 million)
Recurring core income, which excludes proceeds from asset
sales, accelerated depreciation, one-time provisions and
subsidies, totalled 20.2 billion pesos last year.
"We faced very tough tests in the past year as competition
intensified and the shift to digital services accelerated," PLDT
Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said in a statement.
PLDT and Globe are engaged in a price war to attract mobile
internet subscribers, spurred by the spread of smartphones,
while revenue continues to fall in the traditional cash cows of
calls and text messaging.
The Philippines' telecoms services are widely considered to
be among the world's poorest, frustrating businesses and
consumers with intermittent data, dropped calls and poor
cellular coverage, even in urban centres.
($1 = 50.2790 Philippine pesos)
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Christopher