No. 2 Thai TV channel BEC sees profit rise

Advertising to boost profits 20% from 2007 net of $63 mil

BANGKOK -- BEC World, operator of Thailand's second most popular television channel, said on Thursday higher advertising revenue should boost its net profit by 20% this year.

BEC, which owns Channel 3 and gets 90% of its revenue from advertising, might raise advertising rates next year as advertising spending was still good despite the poor economic outlook for 2009, financial chief Chatchai Thiamtong told reporters.


"In the first nine months, our net profit already rose about 20%, so we should achieve the same growth for the whole year as advertising revenues still show double-digit growth in the fourth quarter," Chatchai said.


"Next year should be tough. But we will run business carefully. We are also looking for a good time to raise advertising rates," he added.

The firm reported a 37% rise in net profit to 2.25 billion baht ($63 million) in 2007.

In the first nine months of this year, it made a net profit of 2.15 billion baht, up 24% from a year earlier thanks to strong television advertising revenue.

However, analysts said the outlook for the entertainment sector remained weak. They expect advertisers' spending to slow in line with a drop in economic growth.

Thirteen analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expected 2008 earnings to rise 22% to 2.75 billion baht, but net profit growth should be only 6.2% in 2009.

BEC World shares closed up nearly 4% at 18.40 baht on Thursday, when the overall stock market .SETI was flat. ($1=35.58 Baht)