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THAICOM Set For “Transformation to the Digital Era” After Reporting Significant Decline in Revenues

Artist’s conception of THAICOM-8. Image courtesy of Orbital ATK.

Thaicom, the Thai satellite communications company that operates a fleet of seven satellites, has announced that it intends to implement its “Transformation to the Digital Era” strategy after the company posted significant reductions in revenues for Financial Year 2017.

These reductions in earnings included a decrease of nearly 23% in goods and services sales compared to 2016. In 2017 Thaicom’s sales totaled 6,689 million Baht (U.S.$212,000,000), down from 8,642 million Baht (U.S.$273,000,000)in 2016. As a result, Thaicom’s net profit for 2017 amounted to 20 million Baht (U.S.$663,600), a 99% reduction compared to 1,612 million Baht (U.S.$51,000,000) in 2016.

The revenue reductions have been blamed on a slowdown in the Thai satellite broadcasting sector, along with over-capacity in the SATCOM market in general. Further losses were reported from Thaicom’s Australian subsidiary, Orion Satellite Systems Pty. Ltd. (OSS), a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) service provider that focuses on the mining and construction sectors. OSS lost 113 million Baht (U.S.$5.6 million) in 2017 due to the impact of an economic downturn in those sectors.

“During 2017, the significant market price erosion on satellite services from fierce competition, together with the churns of major customers both domestic and international, led to considerable decrease of revenue from satellite and related services,” Thaicom told U.S. trade publication Space News.

In a statement issued on 1 February 2018, Thaicom’s Chief Executive Officer, Paiboon Panuwattanawong, said, “The Company’s operating performance has declined compared to 2016 (YoY), mainly due to a slowing broadcasting industry. In this year, Thaicom has adjusted our strategies and operations to fully transform Thaicom to the digital era. For us, that means expanding on our core satellite operations by stepping into a broader role as a digital platform operator. This will allow us to strengthen our position as a leading satellite operator while also positioning ourselves as a leader in the digital platform space.”

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