Satellite operator Thaicom, part of Thailand-based Shin Corp, has reported that its consolidated net loss widened in 2010 to THB789 million (USD26 million) from THB471 million the previous year, which it attributed to a 32% reduction in revenues from its telecoms businesses in Cambodia and Laos alongside the appreciation of the Thai baht against the US dollar. Thaicom’s consolidated annual revenues declined by 6.8% to THB6.7 billion, which included THB2.4 billion from its iPSTAR broadband satellite operation, THB2.2 billion from Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 5 satellite businesses, THB1.5 billion from Cambodia and Laos units, and THB650 million from Thai internet/media services.
At the end of 2010 Laos operator LTC’s total subscribers (largely cellular) amounted to 1,658,354, a 22.2% increase from 1,357,005 at the end of 2009, with most of the increase coming from the pre-paid mobile segment. Meanwhile, Thaicom’s Cambodian subsidiary Mfone (formerly Camshin) reported 723,860 subscribers (mostly mobile with a small fixed segment) at the end of 2010, a 15.8% decline from 860,089 a year earlier. The intense competition in the Cambodian mobile market led to a price war, and resulted in a decline in Mfone’s subscriber base, the parent group admitted. The mobile sector in Laos also faces higher competition; however, LTC has managed to continue its subscriber growth and still claims to hold the number one spot in terms of customer market share. The appreciation of the baht has caused Thaicom to report lower revenue from the telecoms business in Cambodia, as Mfone reports financials in US dollars. Elsewhere within the group, Thai ISP CS LoxInfo reported a 39.4% year-on-year growth in net profit for 2010, due to the growth of internet access usage, voice information services and mobile content/applications, in parallel with a programme of efficiency in cost and expense control.