HomeBusinessTrue Corporation achieved a normalized profit of THB 0.8 billion in Q1/24

True Corporation achieved a normalized profit of THB 0.8 billion in Q1/24

True Corporation Plc. reported a turnaround of the business within 1 year of completing its amalgamation. Normalized Net Profit After Tax for Q124 amounted to THB 0.8 billion, driven by the fifth consecutive quarter of EBTIDA growth. Topline growth momentum continued with solid contribution from mobile, online and PayTV segments while synergies and structural efficiencies benefited business costs.

Manat Manavutiveth, Chief Executive Officer of True Corporation Plc., disclosed that “True Corporation has been able to deliver a turnaround of the business and generate profits within only 12 months after completing the amalgamation between True and dtac. Our financial performance in the first quarter of 2024 is a testament to our focus on operational excellence and efficient management capabilities, along with long-term qualitative growth in our user base and revenue. This has led to consistent improvement in service revenue along with EBITDA increasing for five consecutive quarters, driven by disciplined cost control, technology enhancements to maximize customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement in network quality.

As the leading 5G network provider covering the largest population in Thailand, including the Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA) and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, our 5G network covers 99% of the population in BMA areas and 90% nationwide. The continuous modernization of our network not only enhances opportunities for providing better quality services but also helps us achieve our goals in terms of weather resilience and further solidifies our position as the world’s most sustainable telecommunications company, ranking 1st in the world in the DJSI 2023 for the sixth consecutive year in the telecommunications industry.”

The Thai economy in 2024 saw improvements driven by various factors, including stimulus measures that instilled consumer confidence, private sector investments leveraging digital technology to enhance competitiveness, and continuous growth spurred by the government’s emphasis on tourism. These developments align with True Corporation’s role as Thailand’s leading telecommunications-technology company, actively contributing to the tourism industry by co-creating world-class experiences for customers. The dtac and True brands remain at the forefront, catering to both domestic and international tourists, leveraging their superior network infrastructure to meet the diverse digital lifestyle needs and provide seamless and impressive experiences. Moreover, they effectively meet customer demands through AI-driven systems.

Sharad Mehrotra, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of True Corporation Plc., said, “True and dtac continue to be the preferred brands for tourists and migrants in Thailand. We leverage our next-generation capabilities in analytics and AI to offer personalized and tailored content that meets evolving customer needs. We aim to be an AI-driven organization, setting a goal to develop over 5,000 digital experts by 2025 and to transition 100% of routine work to automation by 2027.

We have also developed an innovative AI customer service assistant, ‘Mari,’ capable of providing both chat and voice services using AI-driven technology. Mari is the only intelligent AI customer service assistant in the telecommunications industry in Thailand, capable of engaging in human-like voice and language communication, enabling us to provide appropriate assistance to customers.”

In Q124, True Corporation continued its focus on network modernization to deliver the leading network experience for customers in Thailand, modernizing a total of 3,700 towers till now, leading to further cost efficiencies. Customer experience continued to be enhanced via the state-of-the-art Business Network & Intelligence Center (BNIC), which continuously monitors network usage, including data transmission, bandwidth utilization, system integrity, and device connections. It provides real-time and in-depth performance reports for internal network sections allowing us to minimize impact to customers.

AI solutions at our base stations can reduce energy usage by up to 15%, which has now been deployed at about half of our sites nationwide and is complemented by approximately 9,700 sites on solar energy, enabling True to achieve higher energy efficiency. With continued efforts towards enhancing customer experience while offering value added propositions to uplift customers’ digital lifestyles, dtac and True brands continue to lead in tourist and migrant sectors.

In Q124, emphasis on quality acquisition has resulted in negative net adds of mobile subscribers, declining by 0.8 million, or 1.6% from the previous quarter, reaching 51.1 million. Postpaid and online subscribers were negatively impacted by one-time clean up of non-revenue generating subscribers. At the end of Q124, 5G reached 11.0 million, growing by 4.7% QoQ.

Nakul Sehgal, Chief Financial Officer (Co) of True Corporation Plc., said, “I am pleased to report True Corporation’s turnaround with THB 802 million normalized profit along with fifth consecutive quarter of EBITDA growth in Q124. Service revenue excluding IC marked an improvement of 6.2% YoY and 1.5% from the previous quarter driven by higher contribution from mobile, online and PayTV business segments. Consolidated total revenue for the first quarter remained flat YoY while decreasing by 1.9% QoQ due to seasonality related lower product sales.

Mobile service revenue improved both YoY and QoQ due to sustaining tourist and migrant influx along with focused base management. Online service revenue increased YoY and QoQ driven by sequential ARPU improvement from reduced discounts and upselling existing customers to higher value packages. PayTV service revenue improved YoY and QoQ from higher music and entertainment revenue.

In Q124, total operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization decreased by 13.4% YoY and 7.0% QoQ driven by synergy benefits arising from the amalgamation and focus on structural efficiency measures. In Q124, cost of sales was lower in tandem with lower product sales in the quarter. Selling and administrative expenses in Q124 declined by 28.8% YoY and 8.9% QoQ, benefited by synergies through optimization of commission costs, marketing expenses and lower bad debts. Other elements of operating expenses remained well controlled through the incorporation of performance driven culture throughout the organization.

Net Loss After Tax of THB 769 million

For the first three months of 2024, EBITDA increased by 21.3% YoY and 4.8% QoQ. EBITDA for Q124 improved by THB 1,082 million from the previous quarter, driven by an improvement in topline revenue, while approximately 40% of the growth was attributed to the realization of synergies. EBITDA to service revenue improved to 57.2% for Q124.

In Q124, True Corporation recorded an impairment of redundant assets related to network modernization and booked one-time costs amounting to THB 1,571 million resulting in a Net Loss After Tax of THB 769 million. Normalizing for the one-time effects, Net Profit After Tax amounted to THB 802 million, an improvement of THB 1,182 million from the previous quarter, mainly driven by an improvement in EBITDA. CAPEX for the first quarter of 2024 amounted to THB 3,557 million, benefitted by synergies.”

True Corporation remains confident in achieving the guidance for 2024 through focus on profitable growth by accelerating the realization of synergies while continuing to incorporate performance driven culture in the organization. As such, the guidance for 2024 remains unchanged. True Corporation Plc. expects to deliver 3-4% growth in service revenue excluding IC, 9–11% growth in EBITDA, while CAPEX including integration capex is expected to be around THB 30 billion. Full year 2024 is expected to profitable on a normalized basis.

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