True expects maiden profit by 2007; competition slows AIS growth

14 Nov 2005

Thai telecoms group True Corp says it expects to enter the black for the first time in 2007, on the back of the planned rollout of high end broadband services next year. Speaking to Dow Jones Newswire, True Corp CEO Supachai Chearavanont said that the telco will introduce a new range of bundled content packages aimed at higher revenue users, including broadband TV, following its planned purchase of cable and satellite broadcaster United Broadcasting Corp (UBC). The introduction of high margin fixed line products is a direct attempt to offset True’s slowing growth in the mobile sector, where its wireless operator TA Orange is currently engaged in a hard fought price war.

True is not the only company to be struggling with the impact of increasing competition in the Thai mobile market. Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country’s biggest cellco by subscribers, has announced a sharp drop in profits for the third quarter. Net profit for the three months ending 30 September 2005 fell 16.2% to THB4.4 billion (USD110 million) on the back of weak consumer spending and price cuts. Revenues slipped 6.8% to THB22.2 billion as quarterly subscriber growth slowed to 1.76%, from 2.61% in the third quarter of 2004. AIS ended September with 16.093 million customers, 87.1% of which were pre-paid.

Thailand, Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Corp, True Move