AIS Q1 revenue sees minor dent from outbreak

AIS Q1 revenue sees minor dent from outbreak

Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country's top mobile operator by subscribers, reported revenue of 42.8 billion baht in the first quarter, down 1% year-on-year, as the coronavirus outbreak and fierce industry competition drove down mobile business earnings.

The SET-listed company posted a net profit of 7 billion baht in the first quarter, down 7.5% year-on-year and a 0.9% drop from Q4 2019.

First-quarter mobile business took in 30.3 billion baht in revenue, down 1.1% from the year-earlier period.

AIS chief executive Somchai Lertsutiwong attributed the fall to industry competition and reduced takings from tourists.

The company's earnings were also hit by the closure of shops during the lockdown that began in mid-March, Mr Somchai said.

In the first quarter, AIS customers totalled 41.1 million, with 32 million prepaid users and the rest using postpaid services. The company maintained its industry-leading market share.

The fixed broadband business, AIS Fibre, added 52,800 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing the total to 1.1 million.

AIS Fibre posted 1.6 billion baht in revenue, up 27% year-on-year and 3.9% from Q4 2019.

The company's marketing strategy is fixed-mobile convergence, including mobile internet, home internet and content via the AIS Playbox set-top box and the AIS Play app.

The lockdown and work-from-home measures spurred data and home internet usage, particularly in the latter half of March.

Data usage in the first quarter surged to 14.7 gigabytes per user per month, up 29% year-on-year and 16% quarterly. Requests for AIS Fibre installation soared in the final week of March.

The company's operating cash flow in the first quarter exceeded 23 billion baht, and 2020 cash flow is expected to suffice for the company's investment in 5G and 4G network expansion, Mr Somchai said.

AIS plans to invest 35-40 billion baht in network expansion on the 2600-megahertz spectrum range.

"Apart from ensuring that we uphold our customer services and employee support, we have been constantly utilising our resources to support national public health," Mr Somchai said.

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