Swinging both ways: profit, loss for True in Q4, FY

1 Mar 2012

Thai quadruple-play telecoms group True Corp swung to an annual net loss in 2011 of THB2.69 billion (USD89 million) from a THB1.21 billion net profit the previous year, mainly caused by interest payments more than doubling and a rise in costs due to the launch of its ‘True Move H’ HSPA-based 3G network in the third quarter. Consolidated revenues climbed 15% in 2011 to THB71.94 billion, from THB62.38 billion in 2010, although annual interest payments jumped from THB5.69 billion to THB14.97 billion, and costs from sales and services reached THB51.93 billion, up from THB42.88 billion. However, True swung to a net profit of THB239 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a net loss of THB1.39 billion in Q4 2010, as consolidated service revenues climbed 5% to THB14.31 billion, and mobile turnover increased by 17% to THB7.03 billion (including a 67% surge in data/non-voice revenue to THB1.60 billion) on the back of the previous quarter’s True Move H launch. Fixed network division True Online managed a more modest Q4 sales hike of 1.5% year-on-year, to THB7.20 billion, and TV division True Visions saw sales fall by 2% to THB2.42 billion.

True’s mobile operations reported total subscribers of 18.94 million at the end of 2011, up by 1.82 million in a year, and broken down as: 18.16 million on the 2G (and trial 3G) network of True Move; 494,000 customers on the True Move H commercial 3G 850MHz network (full launch 30 August 2011 following soft launch in July); and 289,000 legacy CDMA-based mobile users at Hutch Thailand, the Bangkok cellco which True acquired in January 2011 (with CDMA services to be shut down soon in favour of HSPA). True Online’s fixed broadband subscriber base increased by 160,000 in the year to 1.34 million, whilst its new high speed cable broadband DOCSIS 3.0-based technology was rolled out to 1.1 million homes passed in 20 provinces. True Visions ended the year with 1.64 million subscriptions, down from 1.71 million a year earlier.

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