Philippines' PLDT Q4 net down 17 pct on forex, typhoon losses

MANILA, March 4 Mon Mar 3, 2014 11:56pm EST

MANILA, March 4 (Reuters) - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), the country's most-valuable listed company, said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net profit fell 17 percent due to forex losses and damages to its network caused by the super typhoon Haiyan.

Net profit in the December quarter was 6.5 billion Philippine pesos ($145.35 million) compared with 7.8 billion pesos in the same period in 2012. Analysts had forecast net profit for the quarter to hit 8.96 billion pesos, based on Thomson Reuters data.

The latest data brought full-year net income to 35.4 billion pesos, down 2 percent.

Quarterly core net profit, which excludes currency and derivatives-related items, rose 8 percent to 9.9 billion pesos. For the full year, core net profit rose 5 percent to 38.7 billion pesos, slightly above the company's guidance of 38.3 billion pesos.

PLDT, owned by Hong Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd, Japan's NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo, said it expects core net profit this year to reach 39.5 billion pesos, up 2 percent.

Service revenues climbed 3 percent to 164 billion pesos in 2013, with mobile phone operations accounting for more than two-thirds of revenue. The pricing environment in the almost saturated mobile phone sector has been stabilising under a current duopoly industry structure, some analysts say. PLDT competes with Globe Telecom owned by the country's oldest conglomerate, Ayala Corp.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms to ever hit land, destroyed nearly everything in its path when it barreled through the central Philippines in November, including PLDT's base stations.

($1 = 44.7200 Philippine Pesos)

(Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco and Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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