BTS musters resources for rail projects

BTS musters resources for rail projects

A BTS train is approaching Saphan Taksin Station. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG
A BTS train is approaching Saphan Taksin Station. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG

SET-listed BTS Group Holdings Plc plans to join the bidding for a 18.3km light rail from Bang Na to Suvarnabhumi airport, the 39.6km Orange Line and a 220km high-speed railway.

Chief executive Kavin Kanjanapas said BTS is ready to take part in all the state rail projects because it has experience, expertise, funding, technology and partners.

"We aim to be a leader in the development and operation of mass transit systems in the country," Mr Kavin said. "It is our core business and foundation for opportunities in our media and property businesses."

BTS Wednesday reported net profit growth for the 2017-18 financial year (ended on March 31, 2018) of 120% to 4.41 billion baht. The key driver was profit gained from property business restructuring of 1.88 billion baht.

The company underwent a restructuring process that streamlined the entire property business under U City Plc, of which BTS owns 39%. U City has 19,000 hotel rooms in the country and abroad.

Revenue in the financial year totalled 14.1 billion baht, up 64% year-on-year. BTS aims for 200% revenue growth in 2018-19.

Revenue from the mass transit system rose by 115% to 9.11 billion baht. The key driver was a rise in revenue from skytrain operations and maintenance and services related to the upcoming Green Line extensions.

Media business generated revenue of 3.9 billion baht, up 30% year-on-year, due to a strong performance by the out-of-home and online media segment.

Excluding profit from the property development restructuring, BTS's operating profit grew by 78% to 2.51 billion baht.

The board of directors approved a final dividend payment for the 2017-18 financial year of 2.92 billion baht or 0.185 baht per share, bringing the total annual dividend to 4.87 billion baht.

The board also signed off on the issuance of new warrants of up to 1.75 billion units, at a ratio of 9:1 and an exercise price of 10.50 baht per share.

This will bolster the company's flexibility to finance additional mass transit projects, BTS said.

Both issues will be considered at the shareholders' meeting on July 23, Mr Kavin said.

BTS recorded a net profit of 254 million baht from joint ventures with SET-listed Sansiri Plc in the condo segment, compared with a net loss of 253 million baht a year earlier.

Most of the profit from joint ventures was from the transfer of 704 units at The Line Jatujak-Mochit, accounting for 84% of the total.

The project had a total sales value of 5.8 billion baht.

BTS shares closed Wednesday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 9.40 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 433.8 million baht.

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