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dtac reports FY16 net profit of THB2.1 billion

January 30, 2017 – dtac reports consolidated revenues and net profit for the fiscal year 2016 of THB82.5 billion and THB2.1 billion, respectively.
FY16 was another year of massive investment in network, to quickly expand nationwide 4G-coverage and enhance customers’ mobile Internet experience on dtac’s ‘Super 4G Network’, the widest 4G-1800MHz bandwidth in the market. Throughout the year, additional 20k base stations were rolled out, bringing the nationwide network coverage to 94% of total population, and covering every district in Thailand with 4G services. Consequently, customers’ satisfaction on our network quality has been gradually improving, as indicated by several third-party surveys conducted regularly throughout the year. At the end of 2016, number of 4G subscribers reached 5.0 million, up from 2.2 million a year ago. The total subscriber base stood at 24.5 million, more than 95% of which had already been registered under DTN.

On the back of network improvement, best offers in the market, attractive handset campaigns, expansion of dtac retail shops, and enhanced dtac rewards loyalty program, postpaid subscriber base and revenues for FY16 continue to grow strongly, with 701k net additional subscribers and 10% growth of service revenues. However, it was an unusual year for the prepaid segment, with unsustainable level of handset subsidies in the market in addition to an ongoing trend of prepaid-to-postpaid subscriber conversion. We were cautious in spending huge amount of money on prepaid handset subsidies. In addition, we’ve put a plan in place to stabilize and turn around the prepaid segment, including network perception campaign, channel efficiency improvement and expansion, personalized offers, and enhanced dtac rewards loyalty program.

Notwithstanding strong growth in the postpaid segment, total service revenues excluding IC for FY16 declined 2.3% from the same period last year. Revenues from data services continue to grow strongly, reaching 55% of service revenues excluding IC, a 9-percentage-point increase from last year. dtac, with a strong spectrum portfolio of 50MHz bandwidth and the largest contiguous bandwidth in the 1800MHz frequency band, is well positioned to capture the growth of data demand and provide best wireless services to its customer base on 2G/3G/4G technologies.

Despite a decline in revenues and higher level of handset subsidies, EBITDA held up well at THB27.9 billion, indicating the success in containing operating expenses through various operation excellence initiatives. EBITDA margin improved 200bps from last year to reach 33.8% of total revenues. Depreciation and amortization expenses continued to go up due to continuous investment in the network. Consequently, net profit for FY16 declined 65% from the same period last year.

In Q416, dtac made a provision for the impairment of assets in the amount of THB5,185 million, resulting in a negative retained earnings of THB1,189 million on the stand-alone financial statements. The impairment was resulted from the investment in concession network, while cash flow had continuously been moving from dtac to DTN, a subsidiary holding the 2.1GHz license from NBTC. The impairment is a non-cash item and has no impact on overall business operation and the consolidated financial statements. Furthermore, the negative retained earnings will be offset against statutory reserve and share premium upon getting an approval from the shareholders.

The outlook for 2017 comprises (1) service revenue excluding IC at the same level as last year, (2) EBITDA at least at the same level as last year, and (3) CAPEX in the range of THB17-20 billion.

Lars Norling, dtac’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We are pleased to see the continued growth in data service and the postpaid segment, indicating the improvement in network quality and perception after massive network expansion for the past 2 years. Moreover, we continue to maintain our value-for-money position and offer our customers the best Internet experience on dtac’s ‘Super 4G Network’. For the prepaid segment, we have a solid plan to turn it around, including, among other things, network perception campaign, personalized offers, channel expansion and efficiency improvement, and enhanced dtac rewards loyalty program. Our cash flows and financial position remain strong, and we are ready for new business opportunities that may arise in the future.”