Shin Corp 2007 profit falls 72%

Slump due to losses on investments in media, other areas

Shin Corp, Thailand’s largest telecoms group, said yesterday its 2007 net profit slumped 72 per cent due to losses on investments in the media and consumer finance businesses.

Shin Corp, in which Singapore’s Temasek Holdings holds a significant stake through two Thai-registered companies, reported a 960 million baht (S$44.6 million) net profit, down from 3.41 billion baht in 2006.

Two analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 2007 net profit of 0.4-3.0 billion baht. Kim Eng Securities said it expected Shin Corp to make a net profit of 6.8 billion baht this year.

The company had a net profit of 730 million baht in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with a net loss of 1.27 billion baht a year earlier, according to a Reuters calculation.

Shin Corp, valued at US$2.9 billion on the Thai bourse, comprises more than 20 companies in the wireless, satellite, Internet and media sectors with Advanced Info Service (AIS) contributing more than 80 per cent of profits.

AIS operates Thailand’s largest mobile phone network with about 50 per cent market share and contributed 6.89 billion baht profits in 2007, down 0.7 per cent, Shin Corp said.

Shin Corp booked a 1.38 billion baht loss from the sale of its consumer finance unit Capital OK and a gain of 407 million baht from selling its stake in budget airline Thai AirAsia, the statement said.

Shin Corp sold its wholly owned Capital OK in the fourth quarter last year after it sold Thai AirAsia in June in a divestment of non-core assets.

It also booked a loss of 2.45 billion baht from its media business in 2007 after the government took over the operating licence of its 53 per cent-owned subsidiary, ITV, in March.

After the earnings announcement, Shin Corp shares were unchanged at 29.75 baht at 0320 GMT, when the overall Thai stock market was up 0.44 per cent.…

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