Shin Satellite Forecasts 2007 Profit on Stake Sale

Shin Satellite Pcl, controlled by Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte, forecast it will post a profit this year after a loss in 2006, helped by gains from the sale of a stake in its Cambodia and Laos operations.

The company, Thailand's only commercial satellite operator, will probably report higher net income next year as equipment sales double, Chief Financial Officer Tanadit Charoenchan said at a briefing in Bangkok today. He declined to specify figures.

Shin Satellite expects increasing demand in China and India for its user terminals, comprising a modem and satellite dish with cables, to help profitability this year. Earnings at the Nonthaburi-based company have been hampered by $500 million in debt from building and launching its newest satellites.

Sales of user terminals may rise to 100,000 units by the end of this year and double to 200,000 in 2008, Tanadit said. Shin Satellite sold 93,153 sets of the equipment as of Sept. 30, according to a company statement.

Shin Satellite yesterday reported third-quarter net income of 3.14 billion baht ($93 million), compared with a loss of 747 million baht a year earlier.

Earnings were boosted by a 5.13 billion baht gain from the sale of a 49 percent stake in wholly-owned Shenington Investment Pte, a holding company for the Cambodia and Laos businesses, which offer mobile, fixed-line and Internet services.

Shin Satellite sold the stake to Asia Mobile Holdings, controlled by Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte, a unit of Temasek. The Thai company owns the remaining 51 percent of Shenington.

Shin Satellite shares climbed 2 percent to 10.20 baht as of 2:31 p.m. in Bangkok. The shares have risen 50 percent this year, surpassing the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index's 26 percent gain.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rattaphol Onsanit in Bangkok at ronsanit@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net.

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