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Several firms manage generous year-end bonuses

ALTHOUGH THE economy has grown only slightly this year, the private sector is continuing to pay bonuses for staff, especially in the automobile, securities and property sectors, where bonuses in excess of six months' salary are being paid by some companies.

A survey conducted by The Nation early this week found that several companies had announced the payment of significant staff bonuses on the back of their financial performance for the year.

The auto industry continues to be a high-performing sector that handsomely awards its employees, with Toyota Motor Thailand announcing an average bonus of 10 months plus Bt20,000, while Honda Thailand is paying eight months plus Bt80,000, Mitsubishi Thailand is rewarding staff with seven months, and Thai Yamaha Motor is paying bonuses of four or five months' salary.

Meanwhile, Maybank Kim Eng Securities' management said the brokerage would pay a bonus in February equal to last year's 15 months.

The property sector has also had a generally good year, even though the final quarter has been negatively affected by political uncertainty. Leading developers have continued to pay bonuses, albeit some of them at a lower level than last year.

For example, LPN Development is paying its workers an average of nine months, just below last year's average of 10 months. Staff considered to have achieved a high level of performance will get a bonus of 12 months from the listed company, the same as last year.

Pruksa Real Estate is paying an average of six months, which is lower than last year's seven and a half months because its workforce has risen from 2,700 to 3,500 over the past 12 months.

The listed developer will pay a bonus of three months in January, having already paid two months in the middle of this year and a further month at year-end.

Bonuses being paid by other developers can be found in the accompanying graphic.

Telcos, banks announce next year

Advanced Info Service has yet to announce its bonus for 2013, which will be paid around March. The cellular giant's average bonus for last year was between three and four months.

Last year, TOT and CAT Telecom both paid average bonuses of three months' salary, but they have yet to announce this year's bonuses, pending performance evaluations by TRIS Rating.

This is also the last year both state agencies can enjoy concession revenue. From next year onwards, they are obligated by the Frequency Allocation Act of 2010 to transfer concession revenue to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, which will in turn pass on the amount to the state.

True Corp is also yet to announce its 2013 bonus, which will be paid out around the time of Chinese New Year at the end of January. It normally pays an average of one month's bonus every year.

Meanwhile, banks have promised to pay out at least fixed bonuses of two months, plus extra bonuses in line with staff members' performance and that of each institution during its fiscal year.

The extra bonuses will be known after banks release their fourth-quarter financial results by the end of January. Some banks will pay bonuses in March.

Bangkok Bank, meanwhile, paid a two-month fixed bonus in the middle of the year, and will pay an additional amount at year-end. Last year's bonus was three months and 15 days.

Krungthai Bank, which is a state-owned commercial bank, will pay what it terms a "special return" to its employees in March. Last year, the average special return was around two months' salary.

Kasikornbank will pay bonuses in March based on its return on equity.

In the hospitality sector, Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, senior vice president for finance and administration at Centara Hotels & Resorts, said overall hotel-business performance at Centara group had been good this year.

There was a high occupancy rate of 80 per cent in the first 10 months of the year, but unfortunately the rate has been dented by political turmoil in the current quarter, he said.

The company had planned to pay a bonus of one or two months' salary, but would now like to pay two months for the year, thanks to better-than-expected overall performance. The matter will be considered by the board soon, he added.

Last year, Centara paid a 1.75-month bonus to employees.

Airline, ad and media sectors

Meanwhile, the airline sector has enjoyed good performance this year, as reflected in carriers paying bonuses of between four and six months.

Nok Airlines and AirAsia are both paying their staff four months, while Bangkok Airways is paying out six months.

Airports of Thailand leads the way in the industry with a bonus of 11 months' salary.

Though Thailand's advertising industry is expected to see only low growth this year because of the sluggish domestic economy and continuing political tension, media and advertising agencies overall are likely to award bonuses to their staff on a par with last year's levels.

According to Nielsen (Thailand), advertising expenditure in the first 11 months grew 1.46 per cent year on year to Bt105.7 billion.


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