Dtac, Thailand’s third largest mobile operator, reported weak results for Q3, with profit and revenue declining as it continued to shed subscribers in the face of rising competition.
The operator’s Q3 2017 net profit fell 8.8 per cent year-on-year to THB601 million ($18 million), which it attributed to a 13 per cent rise in depreciation and amortisation charges from its network investments.
Total revenue for the quarter decreased 3.7 per cent compared with Q3 2016 to THB18.8 billion, with an increase in post paid revenue offset by a decline in prepaid, resulting in service turnover dipping 3.2 per cent to THB16.8 billion.
Voice revenue dropped 36 per cent year-on-year to THB3.52 billion, while handset and starter kit sales fell 6 per cent to THB1.8 billion.
On the positive side, data revenue increased 19 per cent to THB11.1 billion: data accounted for 70 per cent of service revenue in Q3 2017, up from nearly 58 per cent in the 2016 period.
The operator, with a 25 per cent market share, ended September with 5.5 million post paid subscribers (up 800,000 year-on-year), accounting for 23.8 per cent of its total compared with 19 per cent in Q3 2016. But its overall subscriber base continued to decline as its focus on converting prepaid users to post pay plans led to an 8.8 per cent year-on-year drop in its prepaid base to 17.6 million. Its total user base fell nearly 7 per cent year-on-year to 23.1 million.
The increase in post pay customers helped boost blended ARPU 5.9 per cent year-on-year to THB242.
Network opex rose 9 per cent year-on-year to THB1.7 billion as it expanded its 4G capacity and densified its 2.1GHz network.
In the face of intense competition, with attractive handset offers used to lure high-value customers, dtac forecast service revenue and EBITDA to remain at the same level as in 2016.