Thaicom Reports 2022 Results, Declares a Dividend at Baht 0.50 per Share and Announces the Satellite Investment Plan at 119.5°East
Core Profit for 2022 at Baht 527 million, significantly increased 995% YoY
The investment framework for satellites at 119.5 degrees East was announced at
Baht 15,203 million
Bangkok, Thailand, 13 February 2023 – Thaicom Public Company Limited (SET Thailand: THCOM), a satellite operator, announced its financial results for the year 2022.
The Board of Directors meeting of THCOM no.4/2023, dated 10 February 2023, approved to propose to the shareholder’s meeting the dividend for 2022 performance of Baht 548 million, or equivalent to Baht 0.50 per share.
In 2022, Thaicom recognized the core profit (profit attributable to the owner of the Company before unrealized gain (loss) on the exchange rate of the Company and joint ventures and before extra items) at Baht 527 million, increased by 995.3% compared to that of 2021 of Baht 48 million. Despite the decrease in revenue from satellite and related services following the decrease in Thai broadcast customers, especially government entities, the cost of services also decreased because of the structural change in operating costs after the concession ended, which resulted in a significant increase in core profit.
Thaicom’s revenue from sales and service for 2022 was Baht 2,927 million, decreasing by 11.4% from Baht 3,303 million for 2021 due to the decrease in revenue from Thai broadcast customers and the decrease in international broadband clients. However, the cost of sales and services in 2022 was Baht 1,500 million, a 36.1% decrease from Baht 2,349 million in 2021 due to a decrease in satellite depreciation and the concession fee after the concession ended.
Thaicom recognized a net profit for 2022 of Baht 42 million, equivalent to Baht 0.04 per share, which decreased by 70.7% compared to that of 2021 of Baht 144 million, due to (1) the impairment of the satellite of Baht 259 million in Q3/2022; (2) the net foreign exchange gain for 2022 of Baht 120 million, which decreased by 67.6% from Baht 369 million for 2021; and (3) the share of profit (loss) of investment in subsidiaries and joint ventures for 2022 of Baht 306 million, mainly from the depreciation of the Lao Kip against the US Dollar significantly fluctuated during 2022. However, it has become more stable during December 2022 and has continued into January 2023.
The Board of Directors has approved Space Tech Innovation Company Limited (STI), which is Thaicom’s wholly-owned subsidiary, to invest in the satellites for the orbital slot of 119.5 degrees East for a total investment framework of approximately Baht 15,203 million (excluding VAT) (the Satellite Project). The project comprises (a) license fees for orbital slots at 119.5 degrees East, 120 degrees East, and 78.5 degrees East of Baht 797 million; and (b) the construction of 3 satellites at 119.5 degrees East, including other related expenses of approximately USD 433.5 million, or Baht 14,405 million. The construction of the satellites for the orbital slot of 119.5 degrees East must be completed before the end of life of the Thaicom 4 satellite.
This is to ensure that Thaicom can continuously provide its services to the customer. As a result, the Board of Directors has approved STI to invest in the construction of the satellites for the orbital slot of 119.5 degrees East before others. As to the 78.5 degrees East orbital slot, within 3 years after acquiring the orbital slot, STI would need to launch a satellite into 78.5 degrees East orbit in order to maintain the complete operating rights, allowing Thaicom to have some additional time to carefully consider an investment in the satellite project at the orbital slot of 78.5 degrees East.
The investment in the Satellite Project is a strategically important business decision. This ensures that Thaicom can keep serving its domestic and international clientele and continue to earn their trust. Thaicom can also maintain the current customer base on the orbital slot 119.5 degrees East. In addition, it would strengthen investors’ confidence and create additional value and benefits for Thaicom’s shareholders over the long term.
For the investment in the Satellite Project, Thaicom and STI expect to use the source of funds by securing loan agreements from financial institutions, approximately 65–85% of the total investment value. The remaining costs are anticipated to be covered by the proceeds from a capital increase by Thaicom to STI and operating cash flow from the operation of STI. As of the year-end of 2022, Thaicom has cash, cash equivalents, and temporary investments of Baht 5,848 million in total, and also has an unused loan amount of approximately Baht 4,000 million, which is sufficient for investment in the Satellite Project.
Lao Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (LTC), Thaicom’s telecommunication and mobile service provider subsidiary in Lao PDR, reported total mobile subscribers as of the end of 2022 of 2.33 million, an increase from 2.01 million as of the end of 2021, and maintained its position as the country’s leading mobile network operator. LTC’s performance recovered from last year due to significant growth in the teenage segment from the “T-Plus” brand, and LTC continuously generated positive operating profits.
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