True’s continuing ops turn maiden profit, but group still posts hefty loss

3 Mar 2009

Thai quadruple-play operator True Corp has reported that it made an annual net profit from continuing operations for the first time in 2008, as its ongoing businesses’ net income improved to THB62 million (USD1.7 million) compared to a loss of THB1.2 billion in full-year 2007, due partly to decreased depreciation. However, consolidated bottom-line loss for the year was THB3.4 billion, including THB2.6 billion mainly from unrealised FX losses from foreign currency loans. 2008 service revenues, excluding interconnection charges (IC), climbed to THB52 billion, whilst consolidated revenues increased by just 0.2%, and EBITDA declined 6.5% to THB18 billion, mainly due to the impact of high net IC payments by cellular division True Move.

Successful on-net promotions at True Move resulted in 2.7 million net subscriber additions for the full year. True Move ended December with 14.8 million customers, although its annual service revenue (excluding IC) declined 4% to THB22.8 billion, and IC net payments increased, causing EBITDA to decline 25% to THB5.7 billion.

fixed line and internet divison True Online’s service revenue increased by 6% from a year ago to THB26.0 billion, driven mainly by growth in the broadband area and new revenue streams such as international direct dial (IDD) and its internet gateway business. Broadband recorded 19% revenue growth to THB5.0 billion, while high speed subscribers grew by 15% to 632,000. Wi-Fi subscribers also grew strongly to over 109,000 at end-2008 from 32,000 at the end of 2007.

Pay-TV division TrueVision’s subscriber numbers grew by 41% to 1.5 million in the twelve-month period, driven largely by the success of its mass market strategy. Full-year service revenue increased 6.4% to THB9.4 billion. Across its three main business areas, the group’s convergence strategy saw the number of households using multiple True products increase 22% year-on-year to 1.9 million at end-December.

Thailand, True Corp, True Move