True’s EBITDA falls 4% on higher expenses

19 May 2011

Thai integrated communications group True Corp has posted a 4% year-on-year decline in EBITDA for the first quarter of 2011, to THB4.76 billion (USD157 million), on higher network and marketing expenses, and despite consolidated revenues that increased by 9.2% to THB17.26 billion, mainly driven by the recent takeover of the Bangkok-based Hutch CDMA business. The group reported a net loss of THB293 million for the three months ended 31 March 2011, compared to a net profit of THB1.24 billion in the first quarter of 2010, mostly attributed to forex losses. True’s wireless division, which now includes True Move, Hutch and the new ‘TrueMove H’ brand under which it is rolling out HSPA services over the Hutch network footprint, reported that service revenue excluding interconnection increased by 11.5% year-on-year to THB6.8 billion in 1Q11. Mobile division customers reached 18.4 million at the end of March 2011, with 552,000 net additions at True Move, taking its total to 17.67 million and with 730,000 customers attributed to Hutch.

In 1Q11 True adopted OECD reporting standards, which include broadband data services for enterprise customers within the Broadband segment; this had the effect of boosting its reported fixed broadband customers by around 360,000 – reaching 1.214 million subscriber lines – and increasing its reported Broadband revenue base by about 44%. It had previously only reported subscriber line totals for consumer broadband users. Also reporting simultaneously its subscribers under ‘old’ methods, fixed line and internet division True Online added 39,000 new fixed broadband customers (consumers) in the quarter to take its total to 853,000, as consumer broadband revenue grew 6.0% quarter-on-quarter and 13.6% year-on-year.

Thailand, Hutch (Thailand), True Corp, True Move