Liberty Telecoms booked P113-m net loss in first quarter

The telecommunications unit of San Miguel Corp. said it booked a net loss of P113.96 million in the first quarter, lower than the P207.15-million net loss it incurred a year ago.

Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc. said revenues dropped to P35.93 million in the first quarter from last year's P77.25 million.

"The group's revenues for the period reflect the substantial decrease in revenue from broadband services as compared to the same period last year," Liberty Telecoms said.

The company's expenses fell 85 percent to P149.30 million from P276.64 million. Despite the losses, the company said major shareholders understood the losses were expected following the launch of the group's Internet access product.

Liberty Telecoms said it planned to maximize existing assets and network sites through leasing agreements and optimize operating cost to increase revenues.

It also plans to synergize its operations with SMC Telecommunications Group.

Besides Liberty Telecoms, San Miguel has other telecommunication companies under its portfolio, including Express Telecommunications Inc., Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc. and Bell Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

San Miguel president Ramon Ang said last week said the company received four "serious offers" from foreign investors to be its joint venture partner for a mobile broadband business, after talks with Telstra Corp. Ltd. bogged down in March.

San Miguel and 's Telstra ended talks on a $1-billion joint investment in a new mobile network in the Philippines due to "commercial arrangements" issue.

San Miguel said Ddspite the collapsed joint venture, it would still switch on its telecommunications network along with a high-speed Internet service as scheduled.

Telstra offered to continue technical work design and construction consultancy support to San Miguel.

Source: The Standarrrd