Advanced Info Service Pcl, Thailand’s biggest mobile-phone operator, said profit surged 57 percent last year as service revenue increased and it paid less tax.
Net income was 34.9 billion baht ($1.17 billion), or 11.73 baht per share, compared with 22.2 billion baht, or 7.48 baht, in 2011, the company said in a statement today. That’s less than the 35.8 billion-baht average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 12 percent to 141.6 billion baht.
Advanced Info said wider availability of affordable smart-phone devices and increased social-network usage helped boost data revenue by 33 percent last year. The company plans to spend 70 billion baht to develop its network over the next three years after winning a license to provide high-speed mobile services to customers using new mobile-phone models from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
“AIS expects service revenue to grow 6-8 percent in 2013, driven mainly by mobile-data growth, while voice growth tends to slowdown,” the company said in a separate statement. Its margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization may decline to about 42 percent this year on higher marketing and revenue-sharing expenses, the company said.
Advanced Info added 2.3 million customers last year, bringing total subscribers to 35.7 million.
Shin Corp., controlled by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte, owns 40 percent of Advanced Info, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. has a 21 percent stake.