Globe Telecom Inc. ended 2022 with ₱158.0 billion consolidated service revenues, a modest 4 percent increase year-on-year, resulting in net income of ₱34.6 billion or 46 percent higher than 2021.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Feb. 7, Globe noted that the year 2022 was “challenging” as prices of almost all expense line items increased although the telco managed its costs and declines from lease, services, marketing and subsidy, partially offset expenses.
“Despite 2022 being a challenging year marked by inflationary pressures, high interest rates and weakened consumer confidence, Globe once again showed resilience,” confirmed President and CEO Ernest L. Cu.
Corporate data and mobile services, complemented by the continuous growth from non-telco services, mainly drove the telco’s topline expansion as more Filipinos adopted a digital lifestyle. Total data revenues as a percentage of total consolidated service revenues increased to 81 percent from 80 percent in the comparative period.
The mobile business sustained its upward performance, ending the year with ₱107.5 billion versus the ₱104.4 billion reported the previous year and the second highest in company history. The revenue improvement came mostly from pre-paid with greater public mobility and the resumption of face-to-face classes and work.
Total mobile revenues comprised 68 percent of the total service revenues, with the total mobile customer base ending at 86.7 million in 2022.
From a product perspective, mobile data revenues posted a record ₱83.8 billion for the full year of 2022 or 8 percent higher versus ₱77.8 billion in 2021.
Mobile data traffic likewise soared to 4,658 petabytes as of end-December of 2022, surpassing the 3,733 petabytes reported in the preceding year. Mobile data now accounts for 78 percent of mobile revenues from 75 percent last year.
On the other hand, mobile voice and mobile SMS revenues ended at ₱14.9 billion and ₱8.8 billion, lower year-on-year by 13 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
With Globe’s expanded fiber footprint, postpaid fiber subscribers and revenues posted a year-on-year increase of 35 percent and 84 percent respectively.
The increasing fiber adoption among Globe customers drove the continued migration of home prepaid Wi-Fi (HPW) subscribers to fiber.
However, the company said the increase in fiber revenues was not enough to cover the decline in the legacy businesses, as the Home Broadband business further declined in the fourth quarter, ending the year at only ₱27.1 billion from ₱29.4 billion a year earlier.
Similarly, total Home Broadband subscriber count now stands at 2.6 million or down by 30 percent year-on-year, with HPW data traffic declining to only 450 petabytes as of end-December 2022 from 808 petabytes a year ago.
Despite the performance of the fiber business, Globe said the addressable postpaid fiber market has reached saturation levels with the wider market remaining underserved.
Globe has shifted its focus to prepaid fiber, which it believes will open the industry to a new segment that could drive the next phase of growth for the Home Broadband industry.
Corporate Data on the other hand, posted an all-time high revenue of ₱17.2 billion or 21 percent increase from a year ago due to the strong traction from information and communication technology (ICT) services which grew 89 percent year-on-year as more companies rely on business application, cloud, and data center services.
As Globe continues to expand its beyond telco initiatives with a growing portfolio of digital companies in spaces such as fintech, healthtech, adtech, and entertainment, its non-telco revenues jumped to ₱4.2 billion in 2022 from ₱2.0 billion last year.
The substantial revenue contributions from ECPay, Yondu, and Asticom led to its outstanding performance in 2022.
Total operating expenses including subsidy stood at ₱78.9 billion for the full year of 2022, or 2 percent higher from a year ago.
Full year 2022 consolidated EBITDA stood at a record ₱79.1 billion or 6 percent higher from 2021 with the topline expansion of 4 percent offsetting the growth in operating expenses (including subsidy).
This enabled overall EBITDA margin to increase to 50 percent from last year’s 49 percent, in line with full year guidance.
Globe’s total non-operating income of ₱10.7 billion as of end-December of 2022 was attributed to the one-time net gain of ₱8.4 billion (post-tax) on the partial sale of
Globe’s data center business reported in the first quarter of 2022 and the net gain of ₱6.2 billion (post-tax) from the sale and leaseback of its tower assets.
Excluding these one-time gains, normalized net income would have been ₱20.0 billion, or up by 13 percent year-on-year.
Accordingly, core net income, which excludes the impact of non-recurring charges, and foreign exchange and mark-to-market charges, ended at ₱19.2 billion for the period versus the ₱21.2 billion from the year earlier.
Similarly, normalized core net income was 1 percent higher from last year.
On the back of several initiatives executed by the company in 2022, the balance sheet has remained healthy and gearing comfortably within bank covenants despite all the headwinds that materialized in 2022 and debt increasing from ₱210.1 billion as of end-December 2021 to ₱233.2 billion this period.
Globe’s gross debt to equity is at 1.53x while gross debt to EBITDA is at 2.35x; Net debt to equity ratio is at 1.43x while net debt to EBITDA is 2.20x; and debt service coverage ratio is at 3.82x.
“We are happy that the Globe Group closed the year with strong topline and EBITDA growth. We also achieved momentous milestones in 2022 where we closed the country’s largest-ever tower sale and leaseback agreement. In addition we concluded our first stock rights offer in over two decades and raised ₱17 billion despite challenging market conditions,” Cu elaborated.
“As we strive to future proof our network performance, provide better customer experience, and continue with various digital innovations to address the everyday pain points of our fellow Filipinos, we are optimistic that our beyond-telco initiatives will help enable the Philippines to become a truly digital nation,” the CEO maintained.
Globe’s capital expenditure (capex) closed the year at ₱101.4 billion or 9 percent above than last year, which marked the highest investment ever in its mobile and fixed network.
Majority or 86 percent of this period’s total cash capex was allocated for data requirements to ensure that customers will have access to more relevant digital solutions and best-in-class connectivity wherever they are.
Globe spent record-high levels of capex in the past years for its network builds and can now focus on capital efficiency and optimization.
The telco will bring its 2023 capex down over 30 percent to $1.3 billion, with the target of eventually bringing this down to $1 billion by 2024.
Through this, Globe aims to bring free cash flow back to more sustainable levels moving forward, as it reaps the benefit of the opportunistic investments it made in its infrastructure the past few years.
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