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SET-listed firms report sales up nearly 6% in Q1, but profits down 10%

Companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand reported total sales of Bt2.83 trillion during the first quarter, up 5.85 per cent from a year ago, despite unfavourable economic and political circumstances. Their combined net profit fell 9.92 per cent year on year as a result of the baht's depreciation as well as rising SG&A (selling, general and administration) and interest expenses.

SET senior vice president Paveena Sriphothong said 471 listed companies or 92.17 per cent of the total 511 listed firms (excluding those in the non-compliance and non-performing groups) had reported their earnings ending March 31. Among these, 384 companies or 81.53 per cent reported a net profit.

Aggregate sales from companies that have filed earnings reports stood at Bt2.83 trillion in the first quarter, a 5.85-per-cent increase from the same period last year. However, their net profits totalled Bt220 billion, which was 9.92 per cent lower than a year earlier.

At the same time, their combined gross profit margin was 18.29 per cent, a slight decline from 18.37 per cent recorded during the same period of 2013, while their net profit margin also dropped to 7.79 per cent from 9.15 per cent. Their debt/equity ratio (excluding those from the financials industry) was 1.31 times.

"SET-listed companies were able to maintain their sales and abilities to record good gross profits, compared with the same period last year when the country's economic and political environments remained more favourable," Paveena said. "This reflected the listed firms' abilities to boost sales while controlling their costs under various limitations.

"Moreover, the gradual recovery in the global economy and various industries such as banking, property and insurance helped generate a constant flow of revenue.

"However, the decreased margin from the exchange rate topped off with increased selling, general and administrative expenses plus the interest burden pressured the net profits of large and medium-sized SET100 listed companies down 18.49 per cent," she said.

"Moreover, Thailand's economic slowdown and prolonged political turmoil have continued to put downward pressure on sales of listed firms. Hard-hit businesses include those from retail, media and publishing, airline, and securities industries."


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