DTAC's Q3 profits dip sharply

DTAC's Q3 profits dip sharply

SET-listed mobile carrier Total Access Communication (DTAC) reported 13.9 billion baht in third-quarter service revenue, excluding interconnection charges (IC), down 2.1% quarterly and 2.8% year-on-year, weighed down by the impact of the pandemic.

The country's third largest mobile operator by subscriber base booked a net profit of 832 million baht in the third quarter, a sharp decline from 1.4 billion in the same quarter a year before and 1.5 billion in the second quarter.

In DTAC's executive summary of its third-quarter operating result sent to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the company indicated the re-emergence of Covid-19 since the end of the second quarter still carried weight to the third quarter with a drop in consumer purchasing power and closure of its shops.

"The third quarter has been particularly challenging due to reduced economic activity following Covid-19 related restrictions," said Sharad Mehrotra, chief executive of DTAC.

"Despite this, we pursued our strategy as a customer-centric challenger and have worked to strengthen our portfolio of adjacent services to bring incremental value to our customers."

The company ramped up its 700-megahertz network rollout in the quarter.

Some 11,800 base stations on the 700MHz network were installed by the end of the third quarter, which led to customer experience improvement, according to Mr Mehrotra.

The company is on track to reach 93% population coverage by the end of this year.

The network expansion was also a boon for the company's average revenue per user (ARPU) when compared between 700MHz users and non-700MHz users, and this shows that the firm's network investment strategy is effective, he said.

DTAC's Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the third quarter declined 7.7% quarterly and 4% year-on-year to 7.4 billion baht.

The company reported 19.3 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, gaining 26,000 quarterly and 400,000 year-to-date.

"Our net addition of customers remained positive despite shop closure and restrictions related to Covid-19," said Nakul Sehgal, chief financial officer of DTAC.

He said the company maintained strong momentum on cost management, ranging from network structural transformation to IT/network operational excellence.

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