Thailand's Shin swings into profit in Q1

Shin, Thailand's largest telecoms group, swung to net profit for the first quarter mainly due to higher earnings from mobile phone and satellite subsidiaries, a Reuters report said.

Shin, controlled by Singapore's Temasek Holdings through two Thai-registered companies, reported a 1.8 billion baht net profit for the January-March quarter, versus a net loss of 1.72 billion baht last year, the Reuters report added.

The result exceeded the net profit of 730 million baht in the fourth quarter of 2007 and a forecast of 1.74 billion baht by broker Kim Eng Securities.

Shin, valued at €1.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) on the Thai bourse, comprises more than 20 companies in the wireless, satellite, internet and media sectors with Advanced Info Service contributing more than 80% of profits.

AIS, 43% owned by Shin, operates Thailand's largest mobile phone network with about 50% market share. It reported a better-than-expected 29% rise in the first quarter's earnings as both revenues and subscriber number grew.

Shin's 41.3% owned Thaicom , Thailand's only satellite operator, posted first-quarter net profit doubling from a year earlier on a foreign exchange gain and higher sales and services revenue.