Thailand-based True Group’s revenue was hit by weakened consumer spending and a plunge in tourist arrivals, while increased network and spectrum investments resulted in a net loss in the final quarter of 2020.

In a statement, the company said after the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on the economy and its activities, it expects core telecoms revenue to continue its “upward momentum along with GDP rebound”, but didn’t offer a specific guidance.

The operator recorded a Q4 net loss of THB157 million ($5.17 million), reversing a net profit of THB210 billion in the same period in 2019, due to its continued network expansion and spectrum acquisition, resulting in higher depreciation and amortisation costs. Consolidated revenue fell 3.2 per cent to THB36.5 billion.

Mobile service revenue rose marginally (0.4 per cent) to THB19.9 billion, with product sales dropping 21.9 per cent to THB5.46 billion, which the company blamed on temporary store closures as well as the late launch of the iPhone 12 series compared with 2019.

Its subscriber base remained flat at 30.6 million, with a gain in post-paid users making up for a 1.4 million loss in prepaid subs. Blended ARPU increased 3.8 per cent year-on-year to THB216.

Broadband revenue increased 8.2 per cent to THB10.2 billion; pay-TV sales fell 9.3 per cent to THB2.76 billion.

The operator said commercial 5G service was launched in parts of all 77 provinces, with 98 per cent population coverage in Bangkok.