Thailand’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC), has reported a 9.9% year-on-year fall in first-quarter net profit to THB3.0 billion (USD97 million), despite revenues climbing to THB22.5 billion in the three months ending 31 March 2012, up by 14.5% compared to the same period last year. The GSM/3G operator’s EBITDA dropped by 6.3% to THB6.8 billion in Q1 2012 whilst operating profit was reported at THB4.2 billion, a 14.4% drop from the first quarter of 2011. DTAC added 218,000 net new customers in 1Q12, while its strong revenue growth was attributed to improving data revenue and handset sales, whilst the decline in profitability was partly put down to the increase in the percentage of revenue share that it must hand over to state-owned operator CAT under its build-transfer-operate (BTO) concession, which changed from 25% to 30% last September. Other costs increased, including upfront costs of handsets and starter kits as it met demand for 3G smartphones and mobile broadband devices; DTAC added that it will keep to its target of deploying 5,000 3G (850MHz) base stations by the end of this year.
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