AIS reported its Q1/2020 earnings totaling 42,845 million baht with net profit at 7,004 million baht. Revenue from mobile business downed -1.1% while fixed broadband AIS Fibre continued its growth with 27% revenue increase from last year. Strong financial status allows AIS to keep its network investment budget unchanged at 35,000 – 40,000 million baht, continue 5G network expansion and 4G superior quality, and play an important role in restoring Thailand’s economy by utilizing digital infrastructure to support various industries.
Mr. Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of Advanced Info Service Public Limited Company or AIS, reported AIS overall performance in Q1/2020 having total revenue at 42,845 million baht and net profit at 7,004 million baht. Mobile business revenue declined -1.1% compared to Q1 last year as a result of fierce competition in telecom industry plus COVID-19 pandemic that affected revenues from tourists and travelers. AIS shops, Serenade Club and AIS Telewiz had to close temporarily due to the government’s lockdown policy beginning in mid-March and effecting nationwide.
By the end of Q1, AIS number of customers totaled 41.1 million comprising 9.1 million post-paid and 32.0 million pre-paid customers, keeping AIS as no.1 in Thailand’s telecom service with the largest market share.
AIS Fibre enjoyed an increase of 52,800 new subscribers, adding up to 1.1 million total with 27% revenue growth year on year equal to 1,640 million baht. The company continued its marketing strategy in Fixed-Mobile Convergence comprising three core services: mobile internet, home internet, and contents via AIS PLAYBOX and AIS PLAY to obtain more quality customers.
The government’s lockdown policy and public’s practice of working from home have driven the demand in data consumption and AIS Fibre exponentially. The increase was evident in the second half of March, elevating data consumption to 14.7 gigabytes per user per month, an increase of 29% year on year and 16% compared to Q4/2019. A substantial new installation for AIS Fibre increase in the last week of March contributed to the rise of total subscription in same month.
Despite increasing demand in AIS telecom services from individuals as well as corporates, our revenues have been inevitably affected by economic slump following COVID-19. AIS gross revenue in Q1/2020 totaled 33,090 million baht which was on par with Q1 last year. Through better cost management, AIS maintained its profitability featuring an EBITDA increase of 3.8% year on year before EBITDA equal to 19,576 million baht* while net profit showed 7,004 million baht* with a net profit rate of 16.3%.
COVID-19 has caused radical changes and business uncertainty. Hence, AIS gives importance to adaptation and business plans to retain revenues from every business unit while minimizing costs and maximizing operation efficiency to retain cash flow and profitability. AIS currently sound finance enables the company ready to dealing with uncertain situations. The net debt to EBITDA ratio was 0.7 times, indicating low leverage while cash flow in Q1/2020 exceeded 23,000 million baht. Operating cash flow for 2020 expected to be sufficient for the company’s investment in 5G and 4G network expansion to retain national leadership.
Winning NBTC’s bandwidth auction last February allows AIS to solidly develop 5G services which will enable the company to generate more revenues from new channels and increase efficiency in 4G investment. The company continues its investment plan of 35,000 – 40,000 million baht in network expansion utilizing the new 2600 MHz bandwidth starting this year which will strengthen not only AIS 4G and 5G services but also Thailand’s digital infrastructure following AIS 5G reach that has already covered 77 provinces since last April.
“Managing digital businesses amidst the viral crisis enables AIS to see growing impacts on Thai society. Besides reassuring AIS practices on customer services and employee cares, the company has been constantly utilizing our resources to support national public health. AIS 5G Fighting Against COVID-19 program budgeted at more than 110 million baht has been demonstrating real benefits in 5G medical treatments including installing 5G network in major hospitals caring for infected Coronavirus patients, delivering AIS 5G Robot for Care to assist physicians and nurses in caring for Coronavirus patients for an initial 23 units prepared for 22 hospitals in May.
In addition, AIS provided digital devices and medical equipment to a number of hospitals and governmental organizations to help bring the country out of the pandemic crisis and better prepare for long-term effects.” Mr. Somchai concluded.