UPDATE 1-Philippines' PLDT posts flat Q3, banks on broadband growth

Tue Nov 6, 2012 12:47am EST

(Adds details of results)

* Q3 net 9.2 bln pesos vs 9.3 bln pesos yr ago

* Keeps 2012 core profit guidance at 37 bln pesos

* Shares lag broad market in 2012

MANILA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), the country's biggest telecoms company, posted flat quarterly profit growth as rising costs from sales promotions offset higher service revenues.

PLDT, part-owned by Hong Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd , Japan's NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo, said on Tuesday its July-September net income was 9.2 billion pesos ($223.03 million) compared with 9.3 billion pesos a year earlier.

A market estimate for the period could not be obtained as most analysts in the Philippines do not forecast quarterly earnings.

The country's largest firm by stock market value said growth in broadband services will drive revenues next year as it has completed ahead of schedule a two-year, $1.62 billion capital-spending programme to upgrade its network and expand its internet gateway capacity.

Core net profit, which excludes currency and derivatives-related items, fell 2 percent to nearly 9.4 billion pesos. The company said it was on track to meet its full-year core profit guidance of 37 billion pesos.

Service revenues in the third quarter rose 13 percent to 41.5 billion pesos. Operating expenses rose in part due to its acquisition of rival Digital Telecommunications in a $1.6 billion deal last year, the company said.

It said capital spending was expected to hit 38 billion pesos this year but will drop substantially beginning next year after its major investment programme that will triple its internet gateway capacity and roll out a fiber optic network to residential consumers by the end of 2013.

Shares in PLDT, which has a market value of $13.8 billion, ended the morning session up 0.3 percent, ahead of the results. The broader market was largely flat.

PLDT has risen about 3 pct this year, underperforming a market that has gained more than 24 percent, among the best- performing markets in Asia this year.

($1 = 41.2500 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz and Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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