Thaicom reports 23.7% decline in revenue

Thaicom reports 23.7% decline in revenue

The Thaicom 5 satellite that was deorbited last year.
The Thaicom 5 satellite that was deorbited last year.

SET-listed satellite service operator Thaicom has reported a 23.7% year-on-year revenue drop in sales of goods and services to 3.5 billion baht in 2020, mainly caused by the deorbiting of its Thaicom 5 satellite last year.

Thaicom 5 encountered a technical issue in December 2019, resulting in technical limitations with regard to monitoring the satellite's status.

The company said a series of attempts were made to recover the satellite's status from a technical perspective but they had been unsuccessful.

The satellite, which had provided satellite communication services for 14 years, was eventually deorbited in February 2020.

The company said the deorbiting of Thaicom 5 resulted in service termination, particularly among foreign customers who were not able to migrate to Thaicom's other satellites.

"Most of Thaicom 5's customers were migrated to Thaicom's other satellites, including rented ones, although some were not able to do this, especially some foreign and retail customers," the company said.

Thaicom said the overall utilisation rate of Thaicom 6, Thaicom 7 and Thaicom 8 satellites stood at 64% by the end of last year, up from 55% in 2019.

Regarding Thaicom 4 broadband satellite, the utilisation rate was 19% in 2020, down from 23% a year before, crucially caused by the decline in bandwidth consumption and foreign customers' decision to end the service use.

In November last year, the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry requested Thaicom build and deliver the replacement satellite of Thaicom 5 or pay a fee of 7.7 billion baht if the company were not able to comply with it.

This was based on the notice of arbitration in regard to details of a dispute over Thaicom 5 sent by the DES Ministry to Thaicom.

According to Thaicom, the 2020 revenue drop also resulted from a decline in digital TV channels, along with a decrease in broadband services to foreign customers.

"The sale of investment of Cambodian DTV Network Limited also caused the drop in revenue from internet and media services," the company said.

However, the firm reported a net profit of 514 million baht in 2020, supported by extra items, such as compensation income and contract restructuring transaction, up from a 2.2 billion baht loss in 2019.

Excluding the revenue and cost from extra items, the firm registered a normalised net loss of 135 million baht, improving from a loss of 304 million baht in 2019.

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