Saturday, August 25, 2007

General Saprang: Corrupt Coup Maker, Incompetent Businessman, Next Army Chief?

Airports of Thailand profit drops by 84 per cent

Monday, August 20, 2007

Travel Blackboard

Airport of Thailand’s net profit for its third quarter fell by 84 per cent despite recording higher traffic.

The company has blamed the current dispute and court case involving King Power over the management of duty-free shops as the reason for the drop in profit.

King Power operates stores at Suvarnabhumi Airport and was recently suspended while the case is being held, so the AOT did not include King Power’s trading figures in its reporting.

'A decrease in airports' commercial revenues stemming from the King Power case was the main cause of the drop in net profit, despite our foreign exchange gains,' an AOT official said.

Airport of Thailand said that the net profit was 331 million baht, down from 2 billion baht from the previous year.

The revenue for AOT had increased by 17.9 per cent to 4.6 billion baht. At the same time, the fleet had increased in size by 11.9 per cent and the number of travellers it carried also increased by 5.2 per cent.

AOT’s net profit was 82.9 per cent lower than the previous year in the nine months prior to June, at 1.55 billion baht with its revenue soon rising by 12 per cent to 13.7 billion baht.
Airports of Thailand encompass 6 international airports under its administration, namely Don Muang International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Hat Yai International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Rai International Airport and the new Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Sitthichai: TOT at risk of collapse

State telco firm 'needs new execs to survive'


Bangkok Post

Information and Communications Technology Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said the trouble-plagued TOT Plc was on the verge of collapse and needed to find a worthy board of directors and president if it was to survive. The minister blamed internal conflicts by parties who exploited the state agency for their own benefits for the severe problems facing the organisation.

Mr Sitthichai's statement came as conflicts at TOT made headlines this week with the agency's union calling on the board to resign.

The minister said TOT's revenue was plunging but its expenses remained unchanged. If the revenue-sharing it is receiving from concessionaires is excluded, TOT would already be in the red, he said.

According to the minister, TOT has to pay out 20 billion baht annually for staff salaries but is losing around 20 billion baht due to withheld access charges from mobile phone operators.

The mobile operators DTAC and True Move have withheld access payments since last November, arguing that TOT should adopt the interconnection fee system approved by the National Telecommunications Commission. TOT charges access fees to telecom concessionaires of CAT Telecom Plc for accessing its network.

An arbitration committee has also ordered TOT to pay an access charge share of nine billion baht to True Corp, its fixed-line concessionaire. TOT has appealed against the ruling but if it loses, it may have to pay a total of 14 billion baht including interest.

TOT used to be an important business unit of the Finance Ministry, but that has all changed with the dwindling number of fixed-line clients and TOT's inability to compete with private operators for broadband internet services.

Mr Sitthichai described TOT as being ''cursed'', saying the organisation has been exploited by vested interests represented by certain TOT board members for a long time, which had caused untold internal rifts.

Mr Sitthichai received a request this week from Nukol Bavornsirinukoon, deputy president of the TOT union, who demanded a reshuffle of the board.

The union representative also demanded Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr resign as TOT chairman.

And let us not forget General Saprang's generous gift of 800 million baht from TOT's coffers into the hands of the army.

You can read about Big Poei's illustrious career over at Wikipedia.

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