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dtac reported Q116 earnings per share of THB0.53

April 22, 2016 – dtac reports total revenues and net profit for Q116 of THB21.7 billion and THB1.3 billion, respectively. Revenue from data service reaches 50% of total service revenue excluding IC for the first time, indicating a continuation of strong demand for data service. dtac, with a strong spectrum portfolio of 50MHz bandwidth, is well positioned to capture the growth of data demand and provide best wireless services to its customer base on 2G/3G/4G technologies.

dtac continued to roll out additional 4G/3G coverage, adding approximately 13,000 3G/4G base stations from the same period last year. At the end of Q116, dtac’s 4G service covered all 77 provinces. Consequently, network quality and perception have gradually improved along with the expansion of the network. This has resulted in the increase of no. of 4G subscribers to 2.9 million at the end of Q116 from around 1.0 million a year ago. Total subscriber base stood at 25.5 million, 91% of which are registered under DTN.

dtac plans to further strengthen its 4G offering by allocating additional 5MHz of 1800MHz band in selected areas to provide 20MHz bandwidth of 4G-1800MHz service on a single frequency band, which increases data speed. dtac is the only wireless operator in the market that can offer this, and customers with any 4G-enabled devices, not limited to only some high-end models, will be able to enjoy this benefit on dtac network. Furthermore, by the end of Q316, dtac’s 4G service is expected to cover all 878 Amphurs throughout Thailand.

Besides network improvements, dtac maintains its value-for-money position by offering its customers the most attractive price plans on postpaid, the best value of topping packages on prepaid, and the best handset bundle packages for our customers. Furthermore, a prepaid handset subsidy campaign will be launched in Q216.

dtac increased spending from a year ago on network operations along with network expansion, and on selling, marketing, and general administrative expenses to address higher level of competition. Handset subsidy, however, was sharply lower due to not subsidizing prepaid handsets in Q116. As a result, EBITDA margin went up to 33.8% in Q116, compared to 32.3% a year ago. Moreover, depreciation and amortization expenses increased due to higher level of investments in the the network. The increase in costs was partly offset by decline in regulatory cost and corporate income tax.Overall, net profit declined 45% from previous year.

Outlook for 2016 remains unchanged and is based on high uncertainty in the market from competition, in addition to weak recovery of the overall economy. The outlook for 2016 is (1) flat/slight increase in service revenue excluding IC from last year, (2) EBITDA margin in the range of 27% - 31%, and (3) similar CAPEX level as last year.

Lars-Ake Norling, dtac’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We are pleased to see strong growth in data revenue, which has now surpassed 50% of service revenue excluding IC. We have a strong spectrum portfolio and are well positioned to capture the data growth. Our priority is to bring service revenue growth back and maintain revenue market share. In order to achieve that, we’ll keep on expanding 4G network on both 1800MHz and 2100MHz to serve the strong growth in demand for mobile Internet, and 3G network to reach 95% of population. In addition, we’ll maintain our value-for-money position on price plans, topping packages, and handset deals.

dtac currently has a very strong spectrum portfolio and is providing the best digital services to our customers. We will not bid for the 900MHz auction at this point in time. However, to ensure our sustainable growth, we have every intent on securing sufficient spectrum we need to serve fast growing demand for data service by the end of concession in 2018, in addition to 2100MHz, which will last until 2027.”