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DITO CME targets profitability by end-2028

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

DITO CME Holdings, Inc. aims to turn profitable by the end of 2028, or five years after its telecommunications unit’s fourth annual technical audit, its top official said on Wednesday.

At the company’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting, DITO CME President Ernesto R. Alberto said the target is achievable based on its subsidiary’s business plan and progress.

He said DITO Telecommunity Corp., the country’s so-called third telco, is looking to break even by 2025 with its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization “and continues to endeavor onwards to achieve net profitability by the end of 2028.”

Mr. Alberto said DITO Telecommunity is committed to building “world-class, state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure and building a digital company in five years’ time, something that our incumbent competitors have been working on for decades now.” 

He also said, “The industry requires massive amounts of capital investments year on year, before reaping any profits, particularly for a startup like DITO Telecommunity.”

In the first three months of the year, DITO CME posted P331.25 million in attributable net loss, narrowing the P3.67 billion net loss incurred in the same period last year.

The improvement came after a 76% increase in revenues from contracts with customers to P2.34 billion in the first quarter from P1.33 billion last year.

DITO Telecommunity, which is the telco business of the listed firm, accounted for P2.335 billion of the service revenues, while DITO CME’s non-services revenues contributed P5.54 billion.

The telco is set for its fourth technical audit this July with the National Telecommunications Commission.

“We are encouraged to see that DITO Telecommunity has been successful in passing the (requirements) prior to annual technical audits with flying colors and they are confident that they would lead this coming fourth one scheduled this month,” said Mr. Alberto.

Donald Patrick L. Lim, chief operating officer of DITO CME, added that the company is expecting more revenues from its non-telco business in three years.

“I think when we set up these non-telco businesses, we have in mind that they also have to complement the current telco business. Acuity Global, in particular, the bulk of its revenues would come from DITO Telecommunity as we took charge of their media and advertising requirements,” Mr. Lim said.

“Same with Unalytics, when we initiated various projects such as their AI ChatBot for Facebook and Viber sales and care channels. We only see these increasing further going forward as DITO Telecommunity grows as a go-to telco services provider in the country,” he added.

Mr. Lim also said the company is in the middle of diversifying the revenue streams of its non-telco business.

“So, now we see 50% of our non-telco revenues will be coming from external customers in three years,” he said.

At the stockholders’ meeting, shareholders approved the merger of DITO CME with subsidiary Udenna Communication Media and Entertainment Holdings, Inc. or Udenna CME, which is 100%-owned by the company and has a substantial shareholding in DITO Telecommunity and DITO Holdings Corp.

“Considering the fact that both companies own, hold and manage assets for the same beneficial owner, it is deemed necessary and advisable to merge the two companies in order to achieve greater efficiency and economy in the management of both, to their and their stockholders’ advantage,” Mr. Lim said.

The effective date of the merger will be based on the release of the certificate of merger from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Lim said each stockholder approving the merger is to receive common shares of stock in the company using the exchange-for-swap ratio to be determined by management and approved by the board of directors.

Once the merger is completed, Udenna CME will cease to operate and will lose its corporate personality. It will then directly hold a stake in DITO Holdings, which holds a substantial interest in DITO Telecommunity.

On Wednesday, DITO CME shares declined by five centavos or 2.02% to P2.43 each at the stock exchange.

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