TRUE REPORTS CORE EARNINGS IMPROVEMENT IN 1Q18

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Wednesday May 16, 2018 16:50
Bangkok--16 May--idea works communications
True Corporation PLC (SET: TRUE)'s financial performance improved again in the first quarter of 2018 through higher operating leverage and cost control.

Core earnings continued to improve in the first quarter of 2018, narrowing the net loss to Baht 387 million compared to a loss of Baht 1,152 million in 1Q17. True Group's consolidated EBITDA was Baht 9.0 billion, improving by 23.0% from the same period last year due to ongoing growth of the cellular and fixed broadband businesses whose revenues sustained double-digit growth while selling and administrative expenses declined 4.3% YoY. Excluding impact from the 2017 asset sale to DIF for a meaningful performance comparison, EBITDA grew 26.2% YoY and 2% QoQ.

Group President (Co) Mr. Vichaow Rakphongphairoj said, "True Group continues to place importance on providing the best network and service experience to consumers. This has proven successful, driving the above-industry revenue growth of our cellular and broadband internet businesses. We will continue to ride on this strong momentum by further strengthening network quality in various areas. In addition to the nationwide 4G and fiber broadband networks, the Group is developing integrated and comprehensive ecosystems for Internet of Things (IoT) services by implementing state-of-the-art communications technologies throughout the country. At the same time, our participation in the Southeast Asia – Japan 2 consortium submarine cable project will add more international connectivity and diversity for True Group and Thailand. This will further support high bandwidth intensive requirements such as video streaming, virtual reality applications, artificial intelligence, cloud services, analytics, robotics and IoT. All these developments will serve consumers' fast-growing demand for data consumption in this digital transformation and solidify our growth potential."

Group President (Co) Dr. Kittinut Tikawan said, "We are pleased with the Group's improved financial performance in the first quarter and that our continued drive to provide the best value offerings encompassing all lifestyle aspects continued to fuel growth in our revenue and subscriber base. We will continue to strengthen financial and operational performance through targeted marketing campaigns and innovative customer acquisition channels such as TrueID, True Point and other privilege programs highlighting our superior products and services as well as adding value for True Group's most loyal and valuable customers. At the same time, company-wide efficiency and cost optimization remain our key focus. We expect core business earnings to carry on this upward trend as True Group is well positioned to reap the benefit from digital transformation in both the organization and consumer lifestyles."

TrueMove H gained 412k net adds in 1Q18 with strong acquisition in both postpaid and prepaid markets. Its total subscriber base increased to 27.63 million, of which 7.07 million were postpaid and 20.56 million were prepaid users. This higher scale and consumers' rising data consumption boosted its service revenue up 10% YoY to Baht 18.0 billion in 1Q18 contrasting with only 2% YoY combined growth of its major competitors. TrueMove H's strong subscriber and revenue growth was a further proof of its network strength, brand value and continued success of its targeted marketing campaigns. The business ended the first quarter with value and subscriber market share climbing to 27.6% and 30.9% respectively.

TrueOnline maintained its top position in the fixed broadband market in Thailand as a result of its extensive and high-quality fiber network as well as value-for-money bundled propositions leveraging on content and fulfillment platforms of True Group. This saw its total broadband internet revenue grow 15.2% YoY to Baht 6.3 billion. The business captured 115k net adds in 1Q18 lifting total broadband subscribers to 3.3 million with ARPU increasing to Baht 618. True Group's participation in the Southeast Asia – Japan 2 consortium (SJC2) submarine cable project will enhance its international connectivity and customers' experiences, further fulfilling consumers' dynamic demands for high-bandwidth data usage and serving digital transformation needs of its enterprise customers.

TrueVisions was well-equipped with a complete range of quality contents and packages fulfilling consumers' preferences in all segments ranging from mass to high tiers. This together with profitable music events held in Q1 drove its revenue up 4% from the previous quarter to Baht 3.1 billion in 1Q18. At the same time, TrueVisions' contents are shared with other business units of True Group enabling them to utilize these quality contents in their platforms; the move is to better respond to consumers' various lifestyles while enhancing their engagement with True Group products and services. TrueVisions ended the first quarter with a total customer base of approximately 4 million. The business' emphasis will continue to be on paying subscriber base to further enhance revenue going forward.


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