15 July 2019 – Total Access Communication PLC. or dtac reported strong performance in Q219. dtac focused on customer-centric network optimization to rebuild customers’ trust and confidence in the network. Customers’ experience and confidence in the network improved with better perception towards the network and less complaints. As part of the ongoing effort, an acquisition of 700MHz through allocation in late June 2019 will provide an improvement opportunity in the near future to boost dtac’s network coverage nationwide as well as improve mobile internet experience in remote areas in addition to higher capacity for urban users.
At the end of Q219, total subscriber base stood at 20.6 million with a reduction in subscriber loss to only 94k, best since Q116. Number of 2300MHz base stations reached 16.0k, an addition of 0.6k base stations during the quarter. 348 additional 2100MHz base stations were also added in Q219 to fix coverage in existing footprint.
Service revenues excluding IC for Q219 increased 1.6% QoQ, mainly driven by the removal of unlimited prepaid acquisition package with introduction of aggressive fixed data volume packages at a slightly higher price point, and continuous growth in postpaid. EBITDA for Q219 amounted to THB 6.6 billion, increasing 7.2% QoQ from higher service revenues, slightly lower regulatory costs, and well controlled SG&A expenses. EBITDA margin excluding revenues from CAT lease agreements and TOT network rental in the denominator for the quarter was 36.9%, an improvement of 2.2 percentage points from the previous quarter. CAPEX for the quarter was THB 2.3 billion, lower QoQ, accounted for 15.3% of service revenues.
Net profit for Q219 amounted to THB 1.7 billion, increasing 20.3% QoQ due to better EBITDA performance. Operating cash flow (EBITDA – CAPEX) for Q219 was positive at THB 4.2 billion. Net debt to EBITDA ratio increased to 1.8x due mainly to one-off CAT settlement and network CAPEX.
dtac’s immediate focuses are on turnaround pillars for growth comprising 1) consistent customer centric network experience, 2) winning back B2C customers, and 3) addressing B2B opportunities. dtac guided a low single-digit decline in service revenue excluding IC for the year with EBITDA in the range of THB 24 – 25 billion. Moreover, dtac plans to spend THB 13 – 15 billion of capital expenditure in 2019.
Alexandra Reich, dtac’s Chief Executive Officer, said “Our development in the second quarter of 2019 was in line with our turnaround pillars as communicated in the Capital Markets Day. dtac has been rebuilding trust and confidence in dtac network and started to see positive results in both network perception and network complaints in Q219. While postpaid segment continued to grow with good momentum, prepaid segment also started to show a better trend. We will continue our focus on building customer centric network and we will never stop improving.”
Dilip Pal, dtac’s Chief Financial Officer, said “We had strong financials with QoQ growth in service revenues excluding IC. Cost of services and SG&A expenses were also well under control, resulted in sequential EBITDA and net profit improvement. We also had strong operating cash flow development in this quarter with solid financial position.”