K. Woodrow Benckert article on phone usage in PR
Financial Gossip Industry Shows Huge Expansion In Puerto Rico By JESSE BOGUE UPI Financial Editor NEW YORK (UPI)- When representatives of the U. S. Independent Telephone Association gather in Miami Beach next week for their annual convention, some may well envy the rate of growth established last year by the Puerto Rican Telephone Company. The number of telephones In the island commonwealth grew by 35 per cent in 1962. K. Woodrow Benckert, president of the company, said it might well b« a record for expansion in any one year, It was a reflection of the Industrial expansion which has been and is taking place in Puerto Rico. Industries need communications, and their number, under the influence of Operation Bootstrap, has shown some startling increases over the past 15 or more years. In 1962 alone, there were 169 new companies Introduced to the commonwealth. More Phones The Puerto Rican Company, a subsidiary of International Telephone & Telegraph, has more than 133,000 telephones in service and is adding 22,000 more this year. Benckert, in a statement released here, noted that in 1959, when the company was awarded an 8.35 per cent return on invested capital, a forecast called for investment of $52 million in the next five year period. But along with the growth of commonwealth's industrial plant the investment figures ballooned and by the end of this year th« company will have invested more than $110 million, doublo the 1959 estimate. Since Jan. 1, 1959, telephones in service Increased by 97.3 per cent. Unique Situation Its rale of growth, of course, is the result of a situation unique to Puerto Rico; there are few areas of the United States where a comparable expansion of industrial enterprise has taken place over a similar period of time. The last year's growth rate of Benckert's organization contrasts with the Bell System growth of 4.4 per cent in 1962, and with the independent telephone industry of 5.4 per cent. In operating revenues, the Puerto Rican company ranks 20th In operating revenues among the USITA membership. The independents themselves will be represented by an estimated 3,500 telephone officials at their They will Florida discuss convention, the overall problems and triumphs of 2,645 operating companies, their manufacturers and suppliers, their 100,000 employees and 600,000 stockholders. Independent companies serve more than half of the geographic area of the nation. In 19R2 their plant investment was estimated at $5.5 billion and their revenues at $1.4 billion.