By SOMLUCK SRIMALEE
Weighed down by costs
Companies in the telecoms, entertainment and media sectors struggled in the first quarter of this year, with many of them reporting reduced profit growth from the year-earlier period in stock exchange announcements. The companies cited high investment costs and payments for business licences for 4G and digital TV |operations.
Company Revenue % change Net profit % change
(Bt bn) (Bt bn)
Advanced Info Service 38.85 4.3 7.69 -4.7
True Corporation 32.45 11.9 -1.14 NA
Total Access Communication Plc 19.82 -8.9 0.22 -82
Jasmine International 4.4 15 0.69 715
Samart Corporation 2.97 -39 0.03 -69
Entertainment & Media
BEC world Plc 3.0 54.7 0.24 -56.6
GMM Grammy Plc 2.06 3.6 0.003 102.5
Workpoint Entertainment Plc 0.86 44 0.17 503
RS Plc 0.75 -36.7 0.04 -56
MCOT Plc 0.64 -11 -0.14 NA
Nation Multimedia Group Plc 0.55 -19 -0.25 NA
Amarin Printing and Publishing Plc 0.46 25.15 -0.09 -42.4
Bangkok Post Plc 0.32 -134 -0.05 NA
Nation Broadcasting Corporation Plc 0.16 25 -0.06 NA
Source: Stock Exchange of Thailand, The Nation
Advance Info Service Plc reported a rise of 4.3 per cent in first-quarter revenue to Bt38.85 billion, but net profit declined by 4.7 per cent to Bt7.69 billion from the same quarter of last year.
True Corporation saw a 11.9-per-cent increase in revenue but it still suffered a net loss in the first quarter, while Total Access communication Plc saw both its revenue and net profit trailing the same quarter last year.
According to AIS’s statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, mobile operators continued to promote 4G data consumption.
The competition was geared towards the postpaid segment with selective handset campaigns while prepaid handset campaigns were tapering.
The pricing environment remained fierce with new unlimited data packages being launched to attract high-value customers and encourage migration from prepaid to postpaid.
Total Access Communication Plc reported to the SET that in the first quarter, its revenue shrank 8.9 per cent, due mainly to lower handset sales.
The company’s service revenue, excluding network interconnection fee, declined 1.3 per cent to Bt16 billion on lower voice revenues, which was partly offset by higher data revenues.
The company said market competition was expected to remain intense.
Attractive handset offerings continue to be employed to attract high-value customers, and prepaid handset subsidies are expected to continue although at a less aggressive level than the previous year.
Data services remain a driver of growth, thanks to higher demand from the growth of streaming |services and superior 4G experience.
Media and entertainment
Some firms saw net profit slide while some gained in revenue, except GMM Grammy and Workpoint Entertainment both of whom saw revenue and net profit improve thanks to advertising revenue growth following their ratings upgrade.
Workpoint Entertainment reported to the SET that its revenue climbed thanks to advertising income rising from all of its media platforms such as Workpoint TV, and other online media channels such as YouTube.
GMM Grammy Plc credited its better financial performance in the first quarter to the uptrend in advertising at digital TV stations and strong contribution from its music business.
According to Nielsen (Thailand), ad spending in the first four months of this year slipped 5.8 per cent to Bt34.75 billion from the same period of last year.
Analog TV was still the market leader with Bt15.15 billion in ad spending in the first four months of this year, but was losing share to digital TV, dropping 11 per cent from the same period of last year.
Digital TV succeeded in boosting advertising spending by 5.7 per cent to Bt7.35 billion from the same period of last year.
Spending on advertising over the first quarter remained soft, especially for traditional media, mainly caused by low consumer consumption.
Digital TV continued to grow with a rising trend in the second quarter of the high season.
The overall industry outlook for 2017 is expected to improve in line with the broader economic recovery, while the digital TV channels of GMM Grammy stand out from the crowd based on target positioning and distinctive content covering drama, series, sit-coms, news and variety programmes.