True anticipates bright prospects despite posting losses in Q3

True anticipates bright prospects despite posting losses in Q3

True Corporation Plc, a major telecom operator, reported 32.9 billion baht in total revenue in the third quarter of this year, a slight drop of 0.1% year-on-year, weighed down by economic pressure and Covid-19 restriction measures.

The firm saw a net loss of 603 million baht in the third quarter, compared with a profit of 104 million baht in the same period last year.

However, True managed to lower core operating expenses by 8% year-on-year, which drove Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) up 8% to 14.4 billion baht with margin on service revenue of 55%.

Manat Manavutiveth, co-president of True, said the heightened Covid-19 restriction measures in the third quarter posed challenges to various parties who now have to gear up for digital transformation.

This also pushed True to move towards a complete digital organisation, supporting online services and e-commerce as well as expanding digital platforms to serve customers' new digital lifestyles.

Yupa Leewongcharoen, chief financial officer of True, said despite the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions, the company improved its cost control, which resulted in a rise in Ebitda and margin in services.

However, the company's acceleration of network expansion and spectrum licence payment still put pressure on its profit-making opportunity.

True's network investment has passed the highest point and now the company has a strong network that can gain advantage on this investment.

"We are still moving ahead with cost restructuring to bring in profits and sustainable growth," Ms Yupa said.

TrueMove H, the company's mobile business, saw 19.8 billion baht in revenue in the third quarter, buoyed by 50% quarterly growth of 5G customer base to 1.5 million.

TrueMove H had 32 million customers in total, of which 21.2 million were prepaid and 10.8 million were postpaid.

The progression was a result of the firm's focus on network quality across all 77 provinces with 5G population coverage reaching more than 98% of Bangkok and East Economic Corridor (EEC) areas as well as strong response to its 5G device-bundling campaigns, according to True.

TrueOnline, the company's internet broadband business, added 135,000 new subscribers in the third quarter, which subsequently boosted broadband internet revenue by 9.5% year-on-year and 2.2% quarterly to 7.5 billion baht.

This progression resulted from the continued surge in online connectivity and transactions, the firm said.

TrueVisions, the company's pay TV business, booked revenue of 2.4 billion baht in the third quarter with continued impact from the economy and consumers' increasing trend towards the over-the-top and online platform.

True Digital Group continued to gain scale and partnerships driving double-digit revenue growth from the previous year in both consumer and enterprise markets in the third quarter.

Its digital platform TrueID saw monthly active users of over 26 million.

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