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Advanced Info’s 2011 Profit Rises 8.3%, Misses Estimates

Advanced Info Service Pcl, Thailand’s biggest mobile-phone company, said profit rose 8.3 percent last year, missing estimates, as its subscriber base grew.

Net income was 22.2 billion baht ($721 million), or 7.48 baht per share, compared with a restated 20.5 billion baht, or 6.91 baht, in 2010, the company said in a statement today. That compares with a 24.2 billion-baht median estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The mobile-phone company had 2.3 million net additions last year, bringing its total subscriber base to 33.5 million. Advanced Info earlier this year started to offer limited high-speed mobile services to users of smartphones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry.

Revenue rose 13.6 percent to 126.4 billion baht last year, while costs increased 10.8 percent to 76.2 billion baht. Earnings were cut by a 2.84 billion-baht deferred tax adjustment.

Advanced Info plans to grow its service revenue by as much as 6 percent this year, compared with 12 percent in 2011. Of the total, non-voice revenue may jump 25 percent because of the popularity of smartphones and third-generation mobile services, according to the statement.

Thailand’s telecom regulator said Dec. 28 it expects to auction licenses for 3G services in the third quarter.

Advanced Info plans to invest 8 billion baht this year, mainly to strengthen its 3G network and expand data capacity, the company said in a separate statement.

The shares have gained 89 percent in the past year, compared with the 66 percent increase for rival Total Access Communication Pcl. True Corp., the third-biggest mobile-phone operator, declined 24 percent. Advanced Info fell 1 percent to 152 baht today, before the earnings announcement.

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