True Group booked a sharp increase in net profit for the third quarter on one-off items and pointed to the mobile sector as the growth driver, despite falling ARPU.

Net profit jumped to THB2.88 billion ($95.2 million), compared with THB99 million in Q3 2018, due to an asset sale to the Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund and a one-off impairment charge. Excluding the non-recurring items, the company incurred a loss of THB500 million in the period.

Consolidated service revenue rose 1 per cent year-on-year to THB26.6 billion, as gains in mobile were mostly offset by a double-digit decline in its IPTV business and flat fixed broadband revenue.

Mobile strength
Continued subscriber growth with higher mobile data revenue fuelled a 2.1 per cent increase in service revenue to THB19.3 billion. Product sales more than doubled to THB7.4 billion.

In a statement, the operator said market competition on the post-paid side was quite stable as it focused on pre- to post-paid migration and pricing optimisation, while acknowledging the prepaid market remains challenging with rivals offering competitive unlimited and big volume plans to attract customers.

To improve growth, True said it plans to introduce customised offers to better match consumers’ preferences and usage in each segment, while adding value through more popular content and pre- to post-paid upgrades.

Its subscriber base increased 4.5 per cent to 30.1 million, on the back of 9.4 per cent growth in post-paid to 8.1 million customers. Prepaid ARPU slipped 1.7 per cent to THB117, while post-paid ARPU was down 1.3 per cent to THB468.