Sigve Brekke, chief executive of Ucom and DTAC, said he believed DTAC was on the right track, noting an increase of 11 percent in subscriber-base growth and a 38 percent gross margin in 2005 despite the price war.
”We are optimistic in our business prospect in few years ahead, given our potential growth from the mobile-phone business and cost efficiency management,” Sigve Brekke said at the company’s shareholders’ meeting, according to Bangkok Post.
But its board still has no policy to pay dividend this year, after suspending payment since 1996, due to its accumulated losses of 585 million baht in 2005.
He said the overall penetration rate of mobile phone users in Thailand could reach 70 percent over the next three years, up from 48 percent in 2005 with 30.5 million subscribers, and 43 percent in 2004 with 27 million users.
DTAC contributed up to 85 percent of Ucom’s total profit and 4.5 percent of total revenue last year, said Premon Pinskul, deputy chief financial officer of DTAC. But in the second quarter of this year, DTAC will contribute 100 percent of total revenue to Ucom.
Ucom currently has 2.5 billion baht in working capital. Total liabilities are 16.21 billion baht and its accumulated losses decreased from 1.575 billion baht in 2004 to 585 million last year.
”We expect to clear our accumulated losses within this year,” Premon Pinskul said.
Sigve Brekke also said that DTAC, which is listed in Singapore, was trying to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand within this year. The company has held talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the rule calling for a minimum free-float of 15 percent of shares. DTAC currently has a 14 percent free float. But he said the board had no intention to delist Ucom from the SET.
He also said Ucom was looking to invest in mobile phone-related businesses in the future.