dtac on pathway to resilient recovery with positive subscriber growth

29 January 2021Total Access Communication PLC. or dtac reported positive subscriber net-adds in Q420 despite ongoing external challenges from the pandemic. In FY20, the Company focused on delivering efficient operations in serving the Thai mass market with essential connectivity while re-defining customer experience in a new era where customer lifestyle has been reshaped.

Sharad Mehrotra, dtac’s Chief Executive Officer, Total Access Communication PLC. or dtac said “while the pandemic impact is not yet behind us, we have embraced challenges to adapt and grow. Steered by our resilient operating model, we secured efficient operations and adhered to our customer-centric approach in delivering offerings that reflect the best of our values while empowering customer with enhanced digital capabilities to meet the changing needs. Despite external uncertainties on our path to recovery ahead, dtac’ s continued focus will be on strengthening the network to ensure high-quality, high-speed experience for the Thai mass market while maintaining momentum on digital transformation and operational excellence for future innovation and sustainable growth.”

Throughout the year, the Company not only brought in new products and service proposition that matter to customer everyday life given the economic impact, but also equipped customers with improved online journey to help them thrive in a new age where they use substantially more data. From individual to business customers, dtac catered to new demand through its simple, honest and human approach while keeping its promise to continuously deliver network improvement. In 2020, dtac deployed massive MIMO technology to enable 3x capacity increase, expanded TOT’s 2300 MHz to cover over 20,000 base stations, and began low-band rollout on the 700 MHz spectrum to over 2,400 base stations enabling coverage expansion and indoor experience improvement. And to innovate for a meaningful future of 5G, the Company collaborated with various industry partners to launch 5G use case covering smart city, smart water and smart energy management concepts.

At the end of 2020, total subscriber base stood at 18.9 million, reflecting 173,000 gain QoQ from gradual recovery in the Thai mass market and loss of 1.8 million during the year from loss of tourist and part of migrant segments following the nationwide lockdown, international travel bans and intensifying competition amidst prolonged economic impact. Service revenues excluding IC dropped 2.0% QoQ in Q420 and 4.6% YoY in FY20, while core service revenues reduced 1.3% QoQ in Q420 and 2.2% YoY in FY20. EBITDA for 2020 amounted to THB 30.2 billion and was flat against 2019 level. Net profit for 2020 amounted to THB 5.1 billion, decreasing 5.8% YoY.

Nakul Sehgal, dtac’s Chief Financial Officer, Total Access Communication PLC. or dtac said “despite the inevitable macroeconomic impact on the business, we successfully delivered improved operational efficiency with well-controlled cost of services and selling, general and administrative expense (SG&A) while accelerating capital investments in the latter half of the year in order to deliver an improved experienced for our customers. Our financial discipline resulted in EBITDA margin increase in FY20 while our commercial focus on the Thai mass market resulted in positive sign of recovery in acquisition in the latter half of the year”

dtac gives guidance for 2021 on service revenue excluding IC at low-single digit decline, with low single-digit decline EBITDA, and capital expenditure of THB 13-15 billion.

Key financial indicators in 2020 (post-TFRS 15 & 16)

  • Service revenue excluding IC – THB 58.4 billion, declining 4.6% YoY
  • EBITDA – THB 30.2 billion, flat YoY
  • EBITDA margin (normalized) – 43.1%
  • Net profit – THB 5.1 billion, declining 5.8% YoY