Shin Satellite Pcl, Thailand's only commercial satellite operator, returned to a profit in the first quarter on foreign-exchange gains.
The company reported net income of 134.9 million baht ($3.9 million), or 0.12 baht a share, from a loss of 58.2 million baht, or 0.05 baht, a year earlier, according to the company's stock exchange filing today. Shin Satellite's gain from foreign- exchange transactions more than doubled to 461.4 million baht from 185.5 million baht a year earlier.
The baht gained 2.1 percent in the quarter. For this year, it has risen 3.4 percent, the seventh-best performer of the 15 most active Asia Pacific currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
The company expects to return to profitability this year as sales accelerate on rising demand for user terminals in China and Australia and costs drop. Shin Satellite's sales of user terminals may double to 80,000 from 40,000 last year, said Patompob Suwansiri, the company's head of marketing, on Feb. 26.
Shin Satellite's sales dropped 7.9 percent to 1.62 billion baht. Cost of sales fell 13 percent to 1.25 billion baht.
Shin Satellite posted a loss of 45.6 million baht in 2006, partly because of a write-off for the obsolete Thaicom 3 satellite and expenses to promote the new Ipstar orbiter.
Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte gained control of Shin Satellite early last year, when the state-owned investment company led a takeover of its parent Shin Corp. from investors including the family of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was subsequently ousted in a coup.
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