DTAC posts B13.9bn Q3 service revenue and subscriber gain

DTAC posts B13.9bn Q3 service revenue and subscriber gain

SET-listed mobile operator Total Access Communication (DTAC) reported 13.9 billion baht in third-quarter service revenues, excluding interconnection charges, for flat growth quarterly and a drop of 0.3% year-on-year, though earnings from prepaid customers improved as tourism rebounded and migrant workers returned.

The country's third-largest mobile carrier saw its subscriber base stand at 21.1 million at the end of the third quarter, an increase of 775,000 from the end of the previous quarter.

The increase mainly came from the prepaid segment, which saw a rise of 833,000 in its subscriber base to 14.9 million, while postpaid registered a decline of 58,000.

The firm registered 488 million baht in net profit in the third quarter, a drop from 1 billion baht from the same quarter a year ago.

"During the third quarter of 2022, Thailand continued to witness slow macroeconomic recovery amid various external challenges," said Sharad Mehrotra, chief executive of DTAC.

"The country is experiencing ongoing growth in tourists and migrants, but higher inflation rates are resulting in increasing costs and reducing the spending capability of consumers."

DTAC's Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the third quarter amounted to 7.1 billion baht, a decline of 13.4% quarterly because of the positive impact from one-offs in the previous quarter.

Ebitda dropped by 3.6% year-on-year.

According to Mr Mehrotra, the company achieved its target of expanding 5G coverage to all 77 provinces in the first half of this year.

DTAC added some 600 cell sites for the 5G network in the third quarter.

The company is also sharpening its focus on business-to-business (B2B) solutions to explore new opportunities.

"Solution sales provided to the SME [small and medium-size enterprise] segment gained popularity and sold 2.5 times higher licences quarter-on-quarter, while DTAC entered strategic partnerships to ensure our revenue growth ambition," said Nakul Sehgal, chief financial officer of DTAC.

In the first nine months, service revenue from B2B grew by 14% year-on-year, he said.

DTAC said its performance outlook in 2022 remains unchanged as previously communicated.

It expects service revenue to be flat or tally a low single-digit decline. The firm's Ebitda is expected to be flat or post low single-digit growth, said DTAC.

Capital expenditure levels are expected to be 11-13 billion baht.

Meanwhile, Norway's Telenor Group, the parent of DTAC, announced on Tuesday the formation of Telenor Asia as a more independent regional entity with headquarters in Singapore.

Telenor Asia will take on full oversight and responsibility for the firm's operations in Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Pakistan.

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