True Corporation Achieves Improved Profitability in 2023 with Four Consecutive Quarters of EBITDA and Topline Growth While Surpassing Synergy Expectations

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Mitihoon  –  Manat Manavutiveth, True Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, disclosed that “The performance of True Corporation in 2023 exceeded expectations, with our combined strengths resulting in sequential growth in revenue and improved profitability. We remained committed to delivering value and with focused execution of our integration plan and strategic priorities, achieving higher synergy realization for the year. Following enormous efforts in 2023 from the new organization in establishing a unified culture and way of work while combining our execution strengths in the market, we believe that True Corporation is poised for growth and profitability in 2024 aided by macroeconomic factors such as growing domestic and international tourism, increased data usage, and the rising trend of digital lifestyle.

As of Q423, True Corporation achieved net synergies of THB 1.0 billion as a result of accelerated execution of key initiatives, benefiting EBITDA and CAPEX. Our network modernization efforts surpassed planned targets, resulting in synergy realizing through energy and rental savings, along with benefit to CAPEX through higher CAPEX efficiency. Our revenue synergy achievement continued with higher update of Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) offerings, reporting an 16% growth in FMC subscribers since amalgamation, with 30% ARPU uplift during the same period. True Corporation will remain committed to delivering on strategic priorities, utilizing our combined market execution strength, executing on integration plans and achieving synergies to deliver value for our stakeholders.”

 

With continued efforts towards enhancing customer experience while offering value added propositions to uplift customers’ digital lifestyles, dtac and True brands continue to lead in tourist and migrant sectors, with QoQ increase of 0.5 million, a growth of 1.0%, reaching 51.9 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2023. True remains the widest 5G network in the country with 90% population coverage, along with the largest 5G subscriber base of 10.5 million, registering a growth of 12% from the previous quarter.

Nakul Sehgal, True Corporation’s Co-Chief Financial Officer, said, “True Corporation reported ongoing topline growth, EBITDA improvement for the fourth consecutive quarter, and higher than expected realization of synergies for the full year of 2023. Consolidated total revenue for the fourth quarter increased by 4.4% QoQ, driven by higher service revenue and increased product sales. Service revenue excluding IC for Q423 (reclassified) increased by 2.0% QoQ due to 2.3% higher mobile service revenue and 2.5% higher online service revenue from the previous quarter.

Mobile service revenue improved QoQ driven by higher tourist influx and growth in migrant segment aided by focused base management. Online service revenue improvement was driven by focus on quality subscriber acquisition through attractive value propositions and continued uptake in cross selling of convergence offers arising from the amalgamation. PayTV subscriptions revenue remained flat compared to the previous quarter. Product sales revenue improved by 28.7% QoQ driven by the launch of iPhone in Q323.

For the full year of 2023, total operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization decreased by 11.2% driven by realization of synergies and cost discipline incorporated into business operations. Total operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization for Q423 increased by 3.9% QoQ, driven by 24.5% higher cost of sales in tandem with higher product sales.

Other elements of operating expenses remained well controlled due to structural efficiency initiatives while being benefitted by realization of synergies.

EBITDA for the full year of 2023 increased by 3.6% compared to the previous year. In Q423, EBITDA increased by 5.0%, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of growth, and an improvement of THB 3.0 Bn since amalgamation. THB 1.0 Bn of QoQ EBITDA improvement in Q423 was driven by topline growth, efficiency initiatives, while 50% of the growth was attributed to the realization of synergies. EBITDA to service revenue improved to 55.4% for Q423.

In Q423, True Corporation recorded an impairment of redundant assets related to network modernization and booked other one-time costs amounting to THB 10,899 million. As a result, the net loss after tax for Q423 amounted to THB 11,279 million. Normalizing for the one-time effects, net loss after tax amounted to THB 379 million, an improvement of THB 1,219 million QoQ, driven by improvement in EBITDA and foreign exchange gain. CAPEX for the fourth quarter of 2023 amounted to THB 12,631 million, driven by higher integration capex of THB 5.8 Bn related to network modernization, offset by synergy benefits arising from the amalgamation.”

For its full-year 2024 outlook, True Corporation Plc. expects to deliver 3-4% growth in service revenue excluding IC, 9–11% growth in EBITDA; while CAPEX including integration CAPEX is expected to be around THB 30 billion. On a normalized basis, True Corporation also expects to turn profitable in 2024.


Key financial indicators in Q4 2023

  • Service revenue excluding IC (reclassified) – THB 40,649 million, improving 2.0% QoQ
  • EBITDA – THB 22,520 million, increasing by 5.0% QoQ
  • EBITDA margin (to service revenue) – 55.4%
  • Net loss (normalized) – THB 379 million, improving by THB 1,219 million QoQ

 

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