Dtac Prepares For Slowdown As Profit Jumps


Dtac, the third-largest operator in Thailand, reported strong results for the first quarter of 2020 as profit jumped on cost-cutting, but prepared for additional downward pressure on revenue from the widening impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The operator’s net profit increased 15.7 per cent year-on-year to THB1.5 billion (US$46.2 million), with the rise attributed mainly to a reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses. Service revenue rose 2 per cent to THB15.75 billion, with handset revenue falling 20.8 per cent to THB1.7 billion.

Dtac CEO, Sharad Mehrotra said its pre-Covid-19 performance was in line with targets. However, the outbreak slowed customer acquisition and reduced outbound roaming as a result of a drop in tourism.

He said the situation is changing rapidly and “we will be adapting accordingly in order to connect our customers to what matters most”.

Dtac CFO Dilip Pal said with top-line pressure, “we have to put more emphasis on rationalising our capex and opex plan for this year”.

Specifically, the company said it would put more focus on cash flow protection, including optimisation of discretionary spending and capex.

The operator stated it will issue a new guidance for 2020 once it is more certain on the situation.

Due to aggressive competition and lockdown restrictions, its subscriber base fell 5.3 per cent year-on-year to 19.6 million, with prepaid tumbling 7.3 per cent to 13.47 million and post-paid down by 39,000 to 6.16 million.

Prepaid ARPU dipped 0.9 per cent to THB134, while post-paid ARPU edged up 0.5 per cent to THB543.

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