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Now Corp.

swings to profit in 1 st quarter

In its quarterly report submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Now Corp. reported a P1.01-million net income for the January to March period, reversing a loss of P3.45 million during the same period in 2016.

The listed information technology firm said consolidated revenues surged 189.53% to P32.73 million in the first quarter from P11.31 million a year ago, boosted by the rise in the number of companies and government agencies that subscribed to its broadband and IT services. “The impressive showing in the first three months of the year is due mainly to the increase in broadband subscriptions and the rise in customers who sought our technical expertise in IT services,” Now Corp. President and CEO Mel V. Velarde was quoted as saying in a separate statement. Mr. Velarde noted the company also introduced new technologies in the Philippine market that helped the firm corner more customers and expand its market share. “Combining these technologies with our unrivaled technical services that’s available 24/7, as well as guaranteed broadband speed, proved irresistible to the market,” he said. Now Corp.

said its service revenues — which are mainly fees or income earned from the deployment by the company of professionals to its clients to render IT-related solutions and services — more than doubled to P19.78 million for the three-month period from P7.13 million last year. Sales revenue increased by P8.982 million to P12.15 million in the first quarter due to higher broadband and software licenses. Now Corp. said also contributing to the rise in its revenue was the expansion of its fixed wireless network coverage through strategic building partnerships in the greater Manila area, with focus on enterprise clients — hospitals, schools, financial institutions, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and BPOs (business process outsourcing) — which are looking at digital transformation as a key strategy to enhance efficiency and bolster profitability of their businesses. An increase in IT manpower deployment, and outsourced project-based IT teams also boosted the firm’s revenues for the quarter. However, cost and expenses also went up by 114% to P31.722 million from last year’s P14.762 million. Recently, the technology firm was awarded the P57.528 million project to install the e-mail and collaborative solution of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Apart from IT, Now Corp. is also engaged in providing products and services related to media and telecommunications.

Some of its clients include BDO Unibank, Inc., Chinabank, Phinma Properties, and SM. The company saw its earnings drop over 50% to P2.5 million last year, as it shifted its main business to broadband and wireless cable television. Now Corp. earlier said it is aiming to reach $120 million in profit and $346 million in revenues by mid 2021. The company’s five-year plan is anchored on a build-operate-transfer project for enterprises. Under this, enterprise clients will be provided with their own private communications network that is independent of public telcos, equipped with broadband connection. Shares in Now Corp.

closed 0.78% lower at P2.56 each on Tuesday. — ICCD

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