Sequential growth in subscriber and service revenue following Thai mass-focused strategy and low-band network investment

16 July 2021 – Total Access Communication PLC., or dtac, reported another quarter of positive subscriber net-adds and service revenue growth amid concern over the third wave outbreak of Covid-19. The Company’s strategy to capture higher share of the Thai mass segment and rapid investment in the low band network continued to yield measurable improvement while its cost efficiency programs drove healthy profit growth.

Sharad Mehrotra, dtac’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Delivering high-speed network for all stands as one of our top strategic priorities. We are delighted to report that our 700 MHz deployment progress, featuring over 9,000 base stations in outer districts and remote areas, is enabling measurable customer experience improvement. The low-band spectrum now covers over 80% of the population, driving an overall 3% improvement in indoor coverage and 5% reduction in customer complaints. We also extended 5G services to three more cities in addition to the previous launch in six cities.

Our customer-centric approach drove encouraging operating performance across retail and business customer groups. dtac Business, re-launched last year, demonstrated double-digit YoY growth in new business clients and revenues from various types of business solutions. Our focus is to aid Thai SMEs and businesses to embark on a digital transformation journey. Through partnership with key industry partners, we are working to identify and commercialize new solutions that support resilient transition for consumers in the new era. Not only that, our efficiency programs are set to bring further operational cost savings.”

At the end of Q221, total subscriber base stood at 19.2 million, a 164,000 gain QoQ from the Company’s consistent focus on expansion in Thai mass segment and investments in the low-band network. Service revenues excluding IC grew at 0.9% QoQ and declined 2.4% YoY. EBITDA for Q221 amounted to THB 8,065 million, a 7.9% QoQ increase and 0.5% YoY decrease. EBITDA margin (normalized) was at 49.0% in Q221, increasing from 43.9% in Q121. Net profit for Q221 amounted to THB 1,531 million.

Nakul Sehgal, dtac’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “Our ongoing net addition of customers, consisting of both prepaid and postpaid, reflected successful execution of our strategy to capture higher share of the Thai mass segment. We achieved two consecutive quarters of service revenue growth and at the same time continued our momentum on our cost efficiency programs, with focus on structural cost reduction. As a result, our EBITDA is maintained at the healthy level while net profit continued to growth QoQ. As of Q221, we kept our network investment plan on-track with total spending year-to-date at approximately 7.0 billion.”

dtac maintains guidance for 2021 on service revenue excluding IC at flat to low single-digit decline, on EBITDA at flat to low single-digit growth and capital expenditure level at THB 13-15 billion.

Key financial indicators in Q221 (post-TFRS 15 & 16)

  • Service revenue excluding IC – THB 14,279 million, increasing 0.9% QoQ and declining 2.4% YoY
  • EBITDA – THB 8,065 million, increasing 7.9% QoQ and declining 0.5% YoY
  • EBITDA margin (normalized) – 49.0%
  • Net profit – THB 1,531 million