TRUE GROUP CONTINUES TO OUTPERFORM THROUGHOUT 2020 DESPITE THE COVID-19 IMPACT

Monday 01 March 2021 10:05
TRUE GROUP CONTINUES TO OUTPERFORM THROUGHOUT 2020 DESPITE THE COVID-19 IMPACT. IT REMAINS THE ONLY INDUSTRY PLAYER WITH REVENUE AND EBITDA GROWTH IN 2020 DRIVEN BY ABOVE-INDUSTRY GROWTH OF MOBILE AND BROADBAND AS WELL AS CONTINUED ACCELERATION OF DIGITAL BUSINESS
TRUE GROUP CONTINUES TO OUTPERFORM THROUGHOUT 2020 DESPITE THE COVID-19 IMPACT

True Group reported core service revenue growth of 3% YoY driving consolidated service revenue up to Baht 107.2 billion and total revenue to Baht 138.2 billion in 2020 despite the lengthy COVID-19 and economic impact. Core Telecommunication services outperformed the industry with mobile revenue growing 3%YoY and broadband internet delivered highest net adds of 390k while digital platform and services continued to grow revenues in double-digit rates. These, combined with ongoing focus on quality acquisition and spending effectiveness, drove EBITDA up 18% YoY to Baht 37.2 billion, or increased 56% YoY to Baht 52.7 billion in 2020 as reported including the effect of the new accounting standard (TFRS16). True Group reported net profit of 1.8 billion in 2020 or 1.0 billion with the TFRS16 effect. The Group's leading and comprehensive digital ecosystem and platform as well as competitive strengths in terms of innovation, network quality, data driven with effective and online marketing, as well as channel synergy with partners lay solid foundation to sustainably enhance financial health and profitability going forward. True's board of directors today approved a dividend payment from True's full-year 2020 financial performance totaling Baht 2.3 billion (Baht 0.07 per share), similar to dividend yield level in prior year, subject to approval by shareholders at the AGM in April.

Ms. Yupa Leewongcharoen, Group Chief Financial Officer, True Corporation Plc. said, "2020 is a challenging year for the Thai economy and Telecommunication industry following the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic affecting domestic spending and tourist arrivals. True Group, however, outperformed the industry for topline, subscriber acquisition, and double-digit EBITDA growth. Our cellular segment remained the only industry player recording revenue growth while broadband internet revenue grew strongly with continued above-industry net adds. Our comprehensive platform and ecosystem continue to add value to consumers and progressive move toward digitalization, cloud-based and solutions as well as Analytics enable us to meet consumers' need under the new normal while adding convenience through online and self-service channels. These, together with continued synergy with strategic partners, make us confident to continue this solid growth path. While we place importance on further development of digital infrastructure and networks particularly 5G as well as progressing toward innovative marketing channels for better consumers' experiences, improving cost structure and productivity across an organization is one of the key priorities to significantly enhance margin and profitability going forward."

TrueMove H's service revenue remained strong and outshined the industry with 3% YoY growth to Baht 80.1 billion in 2020 contrasting with 6% YoY contraction of the other industry's players combined. This solid performance was achieved as TrueMove H's postpaid revenue and subscriber expanded in double-digit rates while the overall industry particularly the prepaid market was affected by the COVID-19 impact with weakened consumers' spending and loss of foreign travelers. TrueMove H gained 541K net adds in Q4 boosting its total subscriber base to 30.6 million, of which 20.9 million were prepaid and 9.7 million were postpaid. TrueMove H's competitive strengths in terms of 5G and network with the most comprehensive spectrum portfolio covering 7 frequency bands, resonated in consumers' mind and recognized as the best mobile internet provider from nPerf for 5 years in a row, value-driven contents and benefits, data-driven marketing tool as well as nationwide distribution channels via synergy with partners should further drive solid growth and capture 5G and high-value users to its platform.

TrueOnline continued to lead the broadband internet market in both revenue and subscriber acquisition. Its broadband internet revenue increased Baht 1.2 billion or 4.6%YoY to Baht 27.1 billion in 2020 once again posting above-industry net adds of 390k in 2020. TrueOnline ended the year with broadband subscriber base climbing to 4.2 million as its expanding fiber footprint and 1Gbps offerings received strong market responses. The Group's ongoing determination to providing high-quality network proven with the latest nPerf 2020 results showing TrueOnline as Thailand's best fixed internet performances as well as the best internet performance on fiber networks, and innovative offerings particularly True Gigatex Fiber Router, band steering technology, and upselling via Mesh Wifi and TrueID TV bundled should continue to drive this solid growth momentum as they match consumers' rising broadband demand catalyzed by new normal lifestyles with remote working, e-learning and entertainment at home.

TrueVisions' service revenue was Baht 10.7 billion in 2020 pressured by COVID-19 impact on consumers' spending and clients in the hotel segment as well as an absence of entertainment events and live-sports postponement which lowered their associated revenues and costs. The business saw revenue picking up 4.2% QoQ in the fourth quarter with advertising revenue growth and certain activities resumed. TrueVisions will continue to aggregate contents that match local taste and adapt to changes in consumers' behavior and lifestyles in this digital age by progressing toward digital channels and offerings. This should boost revenue and customer base beyond 3.9 million customers at the end of 2020.

True Digital Group continues to be the force of True Group's competitive edge and ecosystem with its quality platforms and services. TrueID, its digital media platform, reached the average of 256 million video views per month in Q4 of 2020, accumulating in the total of 2.2 billion views for 2020 which tripled the growth of the total video views in 2019, while its content transactions reached a new high at 400,000 transactions. Its communicator services, which included the in-app chats and calls, also saw steady growth, closing the year with 1.12 million users. At the same time, TrueID TV, its OTT platform, continue to reach a new scale with approximately 2.1 million TrueID TV boxes at customers' premises, resulting in the solid growth trend for digital content subscription and advertising revenues growth. Online Station, Thailand's number one digital entertainment leading platform for gaming and network influencers, also received more than 180 million views across all platforms and 33 million views for its original content. In the enterprise segment, True Digital Solutions is on a consistent climb and connected over 380,000 IoT endpoints and devices by the end of 2020. Q4 also introduced Digital Guest Solution, a cloud-based platform that enables a seamless online-to-offline for facility services in industries such as property and hospitality.

Remark: Core service revenue refers to consolidated service revenue excluding revenues from event based and non-core services such as outsourcing call center, non-recurring contracted business as well as entertainment and others

Source: True Corporation