Thaicom Reports Operating Results for the Third Quarter 2017

Telecommunication Press Releases Thursday November 2, 2017 14:04
Bangkok--2 Nov--Thaicom

Thaicom Public Company Limited (THCOM), a leading Asian satellite operator, today announced its operating results for the third quarter of 2017. The Company's consolidated revenue from sales of goods and rendering of services for Q3/2017 was 2,312 million baht, a decrease of 479 million baht or 17.2% from 2,791 million baht in Q3/2016, mainly due to a drop in revenue from satellite and related services, particularly from the decrease of THAICOM 4 broadband service revenue in Australia and Thailand, as well as a decrease in value added services on conventional satellites following a slowing trend in the Thai broadcasting industry. Compared to the previous quarter, consolidated revenue from sales of goods and rendering of services increased by 26 million baht or 1.1% from 2,286 million baht, mainly due to increased revenue generated by adjusting sales strategy to focus on potential markets for broadcasting.

Paiboon Panuwattanawong, CEO of Thaicom, said "The Company's operating performance has declined compared to the third quarter of 2016, mainly due to a slowing broadcasting industry. However, Thaicom has planned for such circumstances by adjusting sales strategy to accelerate THAICOM 8 bandwidth sales to DTH operators in the Greater Mekong Subregion and South Asia. In the past quarter, Thaicom has also been entrusted by MV International Company Limited (MVI), a leading Thai broadcaster and DTH platform operator, with establishing a pay TV platform in Lao PDR. In addition, the Company succeeded in closing a deal with iSAT Africa Ltd FZC. (iSAT), a leading African telecommunications provider, to provide iSAT's key customers in East Africa with fully managed satellite telecommunications services including satellite backup of its fiber network. In addition to business success, the company has also earned the continued trust of TRIS Rating, which recently affirmed Thaicom's company rating and the ratings of its senior unsecured debentures at "A-" with a "stable" outlook for the fourth consecutive year. TRIS Rating's decision to reaffirm the Company's ratings at "A-" for 2017 was based on the strength of the Company's market position as a leading satellite service provider as well as its financial status, sufficient degree of liquidity, and moderate level of debt. Recently, Thaicom was named to the Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) list for the third consecutive year and achieved a 5-star rating for the Corporate Governance Report (CGR) award from the Stock Exchange of Thailand for the fifth consecutive year. These awards represent how Thaicom and all our subsidiaries comply with governance codes in every aspect of how we conduct business."

On 6 October 2017, the Company executed a Shares Tender Agreement for the sale of all ordinary shares in CS Loxinfo Public Company Limited (CSL) held by DTV Service Company Limited (DTV), a subsidiary of the Company, a total of 250,099,990 shares or equivalent to 42.07% of all the total issued and paid-up shares of CSL, to Advanced Wireless Network Co., Ltd. (AWN), which is a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS), at the offering price of 7.80 baht per share, or a total of 1,950.78 million baht. This is considered a Connected Transaction and THCOM needs the shareholders' approval for the sale of the shares. Therefore Thaicom has scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders No. 1/2017 on Thursday, 30 November 2017, at Centara Grand Hotel, Central Plaza Ladprao to consider the sale of the CSL shares.

"The sale of CSL shares to AIS is part of Thaicom's business plan to consolidate the management structure of affiliated companies and optimize our business strategy. It will also enable us to pursue new business opportunities and synergy within the Intouch Group through products, services or solutions to prepare for transformation to the digital era." Paiboon added.

On 25 October 2017, the Company informed The Stock Exchange of Thailand that the Company has submitted a dispute for arbitration. The dispute arose from a difference of opinion between the Company and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (the "Ministry") over the THAICOM 7 and THAICOM 8 satellites under Concession Agreement on Domestic Communication Satellite between Intouch Holdings Public Company Limited ("INTOUCH"), which is a major shareholder of the Company, and the Ministry. The Company has fully complied with the terms and conditions of the Agreement and has not proceeded with any operations against or violating the Agreement. As the two parties to the Agreement have not yet been able to resolve their difference of opinion, the Company's board of directors resolved for the Company to submit the dispute to an arbitrator in accordance with Clause 45.1 of the Agreement. The arbitration process will likely take 15-36 months, starting from when Company submitted the dispute. Furthermore, the Company would like to inform that during the period that the dispute is pending arbitration proceedings, the Company will continue to provide the most efficient service to both our Thai and international customers.

Meanwhile, the Company's internet and media subsidiary, CS LoxInfo Public Company Limited (CSL), saw continued growth in Internet Data Center (IDC) services with a 17.6% increase in number of subscribers at the end of Q3/2017 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The number of Condominium Broadband subscribers of at the end of Q3/2017 also rose to 19,413 subscribers, a significant increase from 3,079 subscribers at the end of Q3/2016. For Media and Advertising in the YellowPages business, CSL decided to change their strategy to focus on and develop media and advertising via their online platform, www.yellowpages.co.th, and have ceased to operate print platform since April 2017. As of the end of Q3/2017, Lao Telecommunications Company Limited (LTC), the Company's telephone operation in Lao PDR, had a total of 2,004,738 phone subscribers and ranks No.1 with 56.9% of the mobile market share, up from 53.8% at the end Q3/2016. Their revenue also continued to increase, particularly from data revenue from both mobile and Internet SIM.


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