True’s losses larger than expected

1 Mar 2007

Thai full-service telco True Corp has posted a worse-than-expected 2006 net loss of THB4.18 billion (USD123 million), compared with THB3.26 billion in 2005, attributed to rising operating expenses and higher interest costs. The loss exceeded the consensus average of THB2.57 billion in a Reuters poll of eleven analysts. Full-year revenues rose by 18% to THB51.9 billion due to the consolidation of its cable TV business, TrueVisions (renamed from United Broadcasting Corporation in January 2007) and stronger performances from broadband internet operations and mobile unit True Move. Operating expenses increased by nearly 20% to THB52 billion, hit by higher costs from network expansion, while costs of services rose 24% and interest expenses jumped 32%, the company said. True reported a net loss of THB2.26 billion in the fourth quarter, almost flat year-on-year but 66.2% higher than in the previous quarter. Total subscribers increased by a third to more than eleven million, according to the firm’s statement. True has said it aims to win a third of the country’s four million new mobile phone subscribers expected in 2007, while its broadband division expects to sign up around 70% of the one million new users forecast this year. True Move, whose revenues account for around half of True Corp’s total, gained 3.1 million net new GSM subscribers in 2006, lifting its customer base to 7.6 million, or a 19.3% share of the market, behind Advanced Info Services (AIS) and DTAC.

Thailand, True Corp, True Move,

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