Thai state-owned operator TOT is considering a major structural shake-up in order to reverse its ailing fortunes.
The operator lost THB1.3 billion ($40.6 million) in the first half of 2014 and its annual loss could total THB10-billion by the time the year is out. It is considering a radical restructuring, potentially splitting into five or six subsidiary operations that would then partner with private firms.
TOT has been ordered by the State Enterprise Policy Commission to submit a proposal that would wind down non-core businesses, allowing it to reduce costs. Known as the “superboard”, the Commission was established by Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order and tasked with assessing the operations of state enterprises.
The operator plans to streamline its business to six key areas: telecoms infrastructure, towers, broadband, mobile wholesale, ICT & cloud, and international gateway/submarine cable.
Fellow state-owned operator CAT has already begun its restructuring process, having submitted its 5-year “survival plan” to the country’s previous government, and following the same blueprint of streamlining into 6 general areas. The operator’s H1 profit hit THB600-million, and has forecast an annual total of THB1.7 billion profit on TBH55 billion of revenue.
CAT is perhaps in a stronger position that TOT, having a more clearly defined trajectory and a significantly lower number of staff (6000 compared to TOT’s 20,000). Last week saw CAT’s board approve the resignation of its president Kittisak Sriprasert, with TOT’s board similarly approving the resignation of its president, Yongyuth Wattanasin.