May 2, 2014 / 4:20 AM / in 4 years

Thailand's TAC cuts 2014 revenue growth target due to political unrest

BANGKOK, May 2 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Total Access Communication PCL (TAC) said revenue growth this year is unlikely to be as high as its 3 percent to 5 percent target range because of the impact of political unrest, a weakened economy and competition.

TAC, like may other consumption-related companies, has seen revenue suffer since the unrest began in November, as delayed payments from a government rice-buying scheme and lower commodities prices have brought down consumer purchasing power.

On Friday, the country’s second-largest mobile carrier by subscribers said in a statement that it lowered its revenue growth target to a “low single digit” which will allow more flexibility to respond to competition.

TAC, controlled by Norway’s Telenor ASA, also raised its forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin to 35 percent to 37 percent, from 35 percent to 36 percent.

On Wednesday, TAC reported a 9 percent on-year rise in net profit to 3.3 billion baht ($102 million) for January-March, when revenue from value-added and data services rose 31.5 percent, neutralising a 12.8 percent decline in voice revenue.

The carrier also said it aimed to invest at least 13 billion baht this year and maintained its 2013-2015 budget of 34 billion baht to expand its network.

At 0412 GMT on Friday, TAC shares were 1.2 percent lower compared with a 0.3 percent gain in the broader index.

$1 = 32.3600 Thai Baht Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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