AIS expects lower core revenue

Thai operator AIS warned full year mobile revenue would drop due to weak consumer consumption and pricing pressure.

In a statement it noted overall consumer spending remained weak and forecast a low single-digit decline in core service revenue for 2020. AIS explained Covid-19 (coronvirus) lockdown restrictions caused significant economic impact in Q2, adding it would continue to focus on cost controls to minimise future impact on revenue.

Headwinds in Q2 included declines in subscriber acquisition and handset sales, along with a regulatory mandate to provide free voice and data services during April and May.

Net profit fell 6.7 per cent year-on-year to THB7.24 billion ($232.3 million).

Mobile service revenue decreased 9.1 per cent to THB23 billion, mainly on a 15 per cent decline in prepaid revenue, with roaming sales also affected.

Device sales were 3.1 per cent lower at THB6.53 billion.

Prepaid ARPU was THB523, down 14 per cent, and post-paid fell 2.7 per cent to THB156 respectively.

A 3.6 per cent decline in prepaid subs to 31.5 million offset an 8.4 per cent increase in post-paid users to 9.54 million for a net reduction in customer numbers.

But it maintained full year capex guidance at at THB35 billion, versus THB23 billion 2019, and a goal for 5G to cover 13 per cent of the nation’s population and 50 per cent of Bangkok.