Telephone units pull Thaicom to wider loss

Melissa Chua
13 May 2011

Satellite operator Thaicom reported a wider net loss for Q1 this year due in part to its struggling telephone business.

The company posted a 167 million baht ($5.15 million) loss, compared to a 161 million baht loss in 1Q10. EBIDTA fell 2.2% to 524 million baht, while income from sales and services stood at 1.57 billion baht, a 214 million baht decrease compared to the same period last year.

The revenue decrease from sales and services was due in part to Thaicom’s struggling telephone business in Cambodia and Laos, which reported a 29% decline in revenue to 321 million baht.

Thaicom operates Mfone in Cambodia and Lao Telecommunications (LTC) in Laos. The subscriber base for both subsidiaries grew despite falling revenue – Mfone reported a 4.9% increase to 698,000 while LTC reported a 22.9% increase to 1.6 million.

Revenue from Thaicom’s satellite related business fared better- with the company’s IPSTAR services posting a 3.2% revenue increase to 579 million baht, due mainly to increased revenue from IPSTAR bandwidth services, which rose 40.3% year-on-year.

Higher bandwidth usage from India, Japan and Australia contributed to the increase. Revenue from the company’s THAICOM 2 and THAICOM 5 satellites came in at 562 million baht to bring the company’s total revenue from the segment to 1.141 billion baht – a 4.8% decrease compared to the same period last year.

Thaicom’s internet and media businesses raked in revenue of 108 million baht, a 19.4% decrease year-on-year. The company’s investment in ISP CS Loxinfo paid off, however, as the latter reported a 21% increase in net profit.

According to Reuters, the company expects to return to profit in Q3 this year.

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