Thailand’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Advanced Info Service (AIS) has posted net profit of THB6.33 billion (USD187 million) in the second quarter, up by 73% from THB3.66 million in the same period of last year. The company’s highest ever quarterly profit figure exceeded consensus forecasts of between THB5.8 billion and THB5.9 billion from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg and Reuters. AIS said in a statement that revenue from phone services and equipment rentals in the three months ended 30 June 2008 increased by 24.7% year-on-year to THB28.3 billion. During the quarter it booked a gain of THB1.2 billion from a settlement with rival GSM provider DTAC over disputed network fees, and excluding this one-off gain its net income climbed 29.4% year-on-year to THB5.1 billion, whilst underlying service revenue rose 7.5% mainly due to growth in its high-end user base. AIS, which is 21.4%-owned by SingTel, reported that it had 26 million mobile subscribers at the end of June, up 14.4% from a year earlier. It added a net 877,000 new subscribers in the second quarter, down from 982,000 in January-March.
AIS’s first-half net income rose 49.6% year-on-year to THB11.46 billion. In its statement the company said: ‘Due to strong revenue momentum in the past several quarters, with 8.6% year-on-year growth in the first half of 2008, service revenue guidance for 2008 has been revised upward to 7%-8% from 5%-7%.’