Don Muang Tollway Plc (DMT) expects traffic and revenue will grow by 10% this year, helped by the government's first-time car buyer scheme and the reopening of Don Mueang airport late last year.
Models present the tollway’s new collaboration with Smart Purse and 7-Eleven, where motorists can use a smartcard from the convenience store to pay toll fees electronically. The hope is that it shortens toll queues considerably. THANARAK KHOONTON
The tollway operator has seen traffic increase by 5-10% each month since Don Mueang reopened for commercial flights last October, averaging 70,000 trips a day, said Korawut Chiwaprecha, DMT's deputy managing director for business and finance.
The company expects traffic on the 22-kilometre toll road from Din Daeng to National Memorial Monument in Rangsit will average 80,000 trips a day in 2013, possibly reaching 100,000 by year-end.
Last year, DMT earned revenue of 1.9 billion baht for a net profit of 600 million.
"Toll traffic increased substantially in the latter half of last year following a slowdown in 2011 due to the floods. This year, the volume will rise by 10% thanks to growing traffic at Don Mueang and more cars on the street due to the first-time car buyer scheme," said Mr Korawut.
Yesterday the company launched its "Tollway Smart Purse" project, in which motorists can use a smartcard at 7-Eleven to pay toll fees.
DMT projects use of the electronic toll system will rise from 10,000 trips at present to 100,000 trips within one year.
"The electronic system cuts the time for toll payment in half to around four seconds. It also shortens the queue at the toll gates," said Mr Korawut.
DMT's plan to float its shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand has been delayed since 2011, pending approval from the Finance Ministry, which holds 25% of its shares.
The Phanichewa family, which founded DMT in 1998, owns 37%, while 29.45% is held by AIF (Asian Infrastructure Fund) Toll Roads Holding (Thailand), which comprises Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank, Malaysia's CIMB Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
But Mr Korawut said the company is in no hurry to mobilise funds. It has total liability of 7 billion baht from issuing 10-year debentures three years ago.
With registered capital of 5.8 billion, DMT's debt-to-equity ratio is low, between one to two, said Mr Korawut.
"If we have an immediate need for funds, then we might issue new debentures," he said, adding that the company is awaiting a decision by the Highways Department about whether to tender new bidding for the tollway extension.
About the author
- Writer: Nareerat Wiriyapong
Position: Business Reporter