Aug. 19--Listed media companies hope to see a better second half after experiencing sharp profit declines or even losses in the first half due to the economic slowdown and higher costs from digital TV licences.
Dithanop Watthanawekin, an analyst at KK Trade Securities, said even though media companies had seen falling profits or losses in the first half, their cash flows remained in good shape.
The ad industry is forecast to experience a clear recovery in the fourth quarter, as that is the high season for ad spending, while subsidy coupons for digital TV are planned to be distributed from Sept 15 to households in Bangkok and other major cities.
"TV operators are still concerned about the balance of revenue and costs of running a digital TV channel," Mr Dithanop said.
Vilawal Charoensettasin, director of the Media Agency Association of Thailand (MAAT), said the industry might recover in the second half on the back of more ad spending from consumer goods and automobile companies such as Unilever, AIS, Toyota and Coca-Cola.
However, some big spenders such as P&G, Nestle, L'Oreal and Osotspa still have not regained confidence.
While the political situation has calmed down under military control, the overall economy has yet to recover fully, reflected in the modest 0.4% GDP growth in the second quarter and the lowering of the whole-year GDP growth projection by the National Economic and Social Development Board.
"We look forward to an interim government introducing measures to encourage consumer purchasing," she said.
The MAAT predicts the ad industry will experience flat growth at 136 billion baht this year.
Darm Nana, chief financial officer at RS Plc, said his company expected improvement in the second half thanks to higher ratings for its digital TV Channel 8.
It has also raised its advertising airtime rate since June. These factors will help it to achieve its full-year revenue target of 5 billion baht.
RS will book additional revenue from the World Cup's broadcasting cost compensation of 309 million baht in the third quarter.
In the first half, Channel 8 enjoyed revenue growth of 149% to 1.14 billion baht.