TRUE REPORTS STRONG 3Q11 GROUP REVENUE GROWTH DRIVEN BY SOLID PERFORMANCE AT TRUEONLINE AND TRUEMOVE, AND NEW CONTRIBUTIONS FROM TRUEMOVE H

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Monday November 14, 2011 17:24
Bangkok--14 Nov--PR Focus

True Corporation PLC (SET: True) posted strong revenue growth for the third quarter of 2011. TrueOnline reported solid revenue growth and record Broadband net adds, while True Mobile Group revenue rose on the healthy performance of TrueMove, the official launch of TrueMove H 3G+ services and the ongoing Hutch consolidation. Meanwhile, TrueVisions’ advertising revenue increased strongly from the previous quarter.

Consolidated Q3 service revenue excluding interconnection charges (IC) rose 14.9% Y-on-Y to Baht 14.9 billion mainly on strong growth in Broadband and True Mobile Group revenues. EBITDA softened slightly (-0.8%) Y-on-Y to Baht 4.3 billion, mainly on higher costs for the launch of TrueMove H services.

Net income from ongoing operations (NIOGO) excluding deferred income tax declined to a loss of Baht 550 million on lower EBITDA and higher interest expenses. Bottom-line performance fell to a loss of Baht 1.4 billion including a mark-to-market FX loss of Baht 671 million.

True President and CEO Suphachai Chearavanont said, “True’s healthy third-quarter revenue growth is testament to our strategy to lead both fixed-line and mobile Broadband in Thailand. At TrueOnline, we successfully maintained our competitive edge in the consumer Broadband market with the launch of the best value, fastest mass-standard service, while achieving record net adds and launching Ultra Wi-Fi which is capable of download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Growth in prepaid and postpaid non-voice revenue at TrueMove accelerated as our enhanced data network and rising smartphone and tablet sales continued to drive mobile Internet usage.

“True Mobile Group also started to realize its 3G first-mover advantage with the late-August official launch of TrueMove H’s 3G+ services. The FREEYOU campaign has received a strong market response and we expect the uptake to accelerate as TrueMove H services expand nationwide,” said Mr. Suphachai.

“Meanwhile at TrueVisions, advertising revenue increased significantly during the quarter thanks to efforts from our recently-formed specialist sales team. The highly popular Academy Fantasia 8 was a key contributor to the increase in service revenue,” said Mr. Suphachai.

At True Mobile Group – which includes TrueMove, TrueMove H and Hutch – service revenue excluding IC increased 31.3% Y-on-Y to Baht 7.4 billion mainly on strong TrueMove performance, new revenues from TrueMove H and the ongoing Hutch consolidation.

TrueMove service revenue excluding IC increased 9.3% Y-on-Y to Baht 6.1 billion. This was due to the ongoing recovery in prepaid voice (1.8% Y-on-Y) which in turn was driven by network expansion (mainly in the Northeast) and new promotions launched in the first half of 2011. Also contributing was record prepaid non-voice revenue (23.5% Y-on-Y) and very strong growth in postpaid non-voice revenue (101% Y-on-Y).

There were 236,000 net adds at TrueMove and TrueMove H in Q3, which expanded True Mobile Group’s total subscriber base to 18.6 million.

TrueOnline service revenue grew 6.3% Y-on-Y to Baht 6.9 billion, driven by the success of its new Ultra hi-speed campaign (7-100 Mbps), the launch of 8 Mbps Wi-Fi and Ultra Wi-Fi (100 Mbps) services, and rising DOCSIS 3.0 acquisitions as network coverage was expanded to six more provinces, bringing the total to 16. TrueOnline posted record Broadband net adds of 47,000 in Q3, broadening its subscriber base to 1.3 million.

TrueVisions service revenue was Baht 2.5 billion, up 1.2% Y-on-Y and 5.8% Q-on-Q, due mainly to the success of Academy Fantasia 8. Advertising revenue surged 33.7% Q-on-Q to Baht 191 million due to increased activity from the specialist sales team. However, the impact of competition and piracy saw subscriber numbers fall slightly to 1.68 million.

During the quarter, True Group repaid Baht 3.8 billion of long-term debt, excluding finance leases. However, an additional Baht 11.1 billion of long-term debt was incurred during the quarter mainly to refinance loans at TrueOnline and True Mobile Group and to fully finance business expansion, mainly for Ultra hi-speed Internet and 3G. True Mobile Group has secured a long-term facility totaling Baht 48.9 billion, part of which has been drawn down in October to settle the tender offer for TrueMove’s US dollar bonds.

True CFO Noppadol Dej-Udom said, “While we incurred additional long-term debt during Q3, the funding will be invested in key growth businesses, namely TrueMove H and Ultra hi-speed Internet on DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which support the Group’s high-end convergence strategy and pursuit of long-term growth opportunities. We significantly improved our financial position through the tender offer for TrueMove’s US dollar bonds which saw the Group’s refinancing risk and FX exposure reduce significantly.”


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