AIS sets 2021 investment budgets of 25,000 - 30,000 million, boosting 5G leadership Licenses for three new spectra are awaited, powering business to fight COVID

Tuesday 09 February 2021 09:49
AIS sets 2021 investment budgets of 25,000 - 30,000 million, boosting 5G leadership. Licenses for three new spectra are awaited, powering business to fight COVID. 2020 results show net profit of 28,423 bahtHome internet shoots up 22%, outpacing market - dividends of 3.68 baht per share.
AIS sets 2021 investment budgets of 25,000 - 30,000 million, boosting 5G leadership Licenses for three new spectra are awaited, powering business to fight COVID

AIS has reported total revenues of 172,890 million baht as part of its results in 2020, a slight reduction of 4.4% as a result of the COVID-19 situation since the first quarter, which has also impacted the economy continually all year. Net profit is 28,423 million baht. Overall in its mobile phone business, AIS still has the greatest number of subscribers at 41.4 million. Meanwhile, the home internet business of AIS Fibre has shot up with growth of over 22% year on year, outpacing the industry, now having 1.3 million customers. In 2021 AIS has set total investment budgets of 25,000 - 30,000 million baht. Expansion of 5G/4G Networks is proceeding to build the country strong digital infrastructure. AIS will retain its policy to pay dividends not less than 70% of net profit, with payment set at 3.68 baht per share and scheduled for 20 April 2021.

*Not including results from Thai accounting standard 16

Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS) commented, "The COVID crisis at the start of 2020 was a steep learning curve for all sectors, and generated awareness of the importance of digital technology as a tool to defeat infection, revive the economy and be the foundation for national development with sustainable growth. We remain confident about digital infrastructure and 5G in particular, of which AIS currently holds the most spectra in both 4G and 5G, with the best coverage in Thailand, counting 1420 MHz. Within this February the company will receive licenses for 26 GHz of bandwidth covering all three frequency bands, high medium and low. These will enhance the efficiency of the 5G network rollout to support usage by Thai customers and encourage take-up by the industrial sector. In recent months, we have continued to cooperate with variety of partners in the ecosystem, and we have been trialling usage in real-time situations."

In the overall 2020 results, AIS has recorded combined revenues of 172,890 million baht, a reduction of 4.4% on the previous year.

Mobile-phone business: income is down 6.5% on the previous year which is the result of losing income from customers in the as yet unrecovered tourist sector, from restrictions on international travel. However, AIS has maintained number one market share in terms of both revenue and subscriber numbers. The company currently has the most mobile phone customers in the market at 41.4 million numbers, of which 10.2 million are prepaid customers, an increase in the fourth quarter of 420,900 users. Prepaid customers stand at 31.2 million, an increase of 74,400. Usage of 4G continues to grow. As of the year-end, 4G customers had increased 77%. Customers used an average of 18 GB of data per month, a rise of 42% on the previous year. As for usage of 5G, since the service launched in October 2020 until now, it has gained a total of 239,000 customers.

AIS has continued to develop the 5G network, the company is focused on rolling out the 5G network to support maximal efficiency of customer usage as well as supporting its deployment in various industrial sectors such as medicine, logistics, manufacturing, security and the Smart City. The company is confident that 5G will become a new technology for the Real New Normal supporting every sector - the economy, society and the general public.

AIS Fibre home internet business: This has continued to grow outpacing the industry, with users increased over the lockdown period. This is mostly from a massive change in lifestyles to Work from Home and Learn from Home. Throughout 2020, customers increased by over 299,300 or 29%, a much higher rate than the industry which showed average growth of 10-12%, currently standing at 1.3 million customers. AIS' dedication to develop excellence in its products and services has resulted in AIS Fibre being chosen as the best internet service provider in Asia Pacific for 2020 by Frost & Sullivan, a leading business consultant and researcher with over 50 years of experience. Also, Ookla(R) Speedtest(R), the world's premier benchmarking service for internet access speed, has crowned AIS with the award of Thailand's fastest ISP for two years in succession (2019-2020). The company aims to enter the top three of Thai broadband internet providers by the end of 2021."

Enterprise segment: Corporate and SME customers have shown interest in the Telecom Services group, which provides infrastructure for communications, corporate networks and Digital Enabler services. Businesses can apply Digital Technologies in the new era such as IT, Cloud, IoT, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing, and future 5G.

Overall, good cost management, on both providing service, and sales and management costs, have resulted in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of 76,619 million baht, a reduction of 2.7 percent on the previous year and have a net profit 28,423 million baht, 8.9% decrease compared to the previous year. AIS will pay dividends on earnings for the second half of 3.68 baht per share, or approximately 75% of net profit, on 20 April 2021.

"The lessons of this crisis have given us the belief that we have immunized ourselves as best as we could. We have faced up to the changes and learned a great deal about the new things which can enable us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today, digital technology is no longer something remote, but this depends on who is adapting it, and how. AIS today has both core business, Including growth in new business groups Whether it is a video business, insurance, digital payments and services with partners, etc which is the source of both challenges and huge opportunities, and the key is future mutual success. AIS is allocating 2021 budgets of 25,000 - 30,000 million baht to develop Thai digital infrastructure sustainably, and so it is ready to be a core of support for every sector by forming partnerships in the digital ecosystem. This will power the country to overcome every challenge sustainably," concluded Somchai.

Source: Advanced Info Service