It is undeniable that 2020 was full of dire challenges for Plan B and other players in the media industry in Thailand as the COVID-19 crisis has been broadly affecting the global economy and the Thai economy. The media industry was hit hard with abrupt impacts, and this significantly dampened short-term business performance. Value of advertising media market contracted 14.0% compared to the same period of the previous year to THB 106,255 million. Despite the immense threat from the COVID-19 situation, the Company managed to generate total revenue of THB 3,768 million with a net profit attributable to shareholders of THB 140 million thanks to joint efforts from all teams at Plan B.
Regarding our business expansion, the Company recently acquired 19.96% ownership in Master Ad Public Company Limited (“MACO”), one of the media leaders for billboards and street furniture with an extensive media footprint and signed a contract to manage all domestic advertising media of MACO. With this strategic move, the Company’s out-of-home media network, both static and digital media, covers over 2,000 locations across Thailand and our media capacity reached THB 6,930 million in 2020. This allowed Plan B to offer better innovative digital media that address marketers' need s with broader coverage and quicker responsiveness.
The Company still demonstrates a commitment to our vision and mission by expanding out-of-home media business and engagement marketing business leveraging on a diversified portfolio of media and the adoption of information technology to streamline work processes and enhance work efficiency.
Strengthening Our Business Through the Pursuit of Growth
On top of investment in technology and innovations to promote the effectiveness of existing advertising media, the Company has been actively installing LED screens in 7-Eleven stores and achieved 1,000 branches as targeted at the end of 2020 with the new plan to attain 2,000 branches by 2021. Furthermore, the Company added more digital media services with Twintube+, vertical digital screens located on Sathorn Road, and The Prime 9, a large signature screen located on Ekkamai-Ramintra Road. Both spots are strategic locations in Bangkok that, attracting eyeballs and appealing to target customers commuting near the areas.
Moreover, the Company joined forces with the Traffic and Transportation Department of Bangkok in modernizing bus shelter across Bangkok. The innovative, intelligent bus shelters come with high security with CCTV, a free mobile charging station and free Wi-Fi to help accommodate bus riders. Over 691 bus shelters and 1,170 static and digital billboards installed in front of the bus shelters. This is considered an expansion of out-of-home media coverage in line with our growth strategy. Besides, VIA BUS was developed under a collaboration with Via Group (Thailand) Co., Ltd. as a mobile application to help people search for bus routes, allowing people to know the locations of nearest buses and estimated time when buses arrive at bus stops on a real-time basis. This will help bus passengers manage their travels more effectively and elevate Bangkok's urban population's quality of life.
For engagement marketing business, the Company was the winning bidder to officially become an exclusive agent in managing rights of the Football Association of Thailand Under Patronage of His Majesty the King to search for sponsorship for national football tournaments, professional league competitions and other related activities from 2021-2028 or a total of 8 years. On the sports marketing front, the Company teamed up with Raceup Work Co., Ltd., a sport and marathon event organizer specializing in sports tourism, to host running events certified by IAAF standards along beautiful tracks in different provinces across Thailand. The Company takes advantage of our out-of-home media network to promote each province's activities and tourism each province's activities and tourism and secures sponsorship to add value and expand its sports marketing business.
Regarding Tokyo Olympic Games, the Company and Raceup Work together organized “Countdown to Olympics” activities with PR campaigns using Plan B’s OOH media to encourage Thai people to send support to Thai athletes participating in the Olympics through “Flag of Nation”, a virtual run activity with a cumulative distance of 1,000,000 kilometres and a relay race with a flag in 35 provinces across Thailand. Famous people in the sports and entertainment industries, including BNK48, also participated in the activity. Additionally, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee (Tokyo 2020), International Olympic Committee (OIC) and International Paralympic Committee published a playbook for related parties who have to enter Japan to participate in the Olympics event, requiring strict security and compliance prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Company expected that revenue from managing the Olympics' marketing right Olympics Olympics' marketing rights' marketing rights will be recognized according to the plan. This will further emphasize value creation for the Company’s engagement marketing business related to sports.
Artist management business faced struggles in 2020 from the COVID-19 situation as most events of BNK48 were cancelled or postponed to no specified future date given the implemented social distancing measures. Nevertheless, the Company has a plan to generate revenue from the expansion of the artist management business through other forms of appealing entertainment content such as movies, series and new music production to embrace potential changes in the future and serve more diverse groups of target customers.
Nurturing Innovation to Uplift Out-Of-Home Media
As the innovation leader, Plan B recently developed an innovative platform, “Magnetic”, in collaboration with telecommunications companies to promote the measurability of out-oh-home media. The platform utilizes technology and a database from telecommunications companies with over half of the Thai population to analyze target customers' data based on their locations from mobile phone signals, which are recorded daily recorded daily. This allows the Company to collect in-depth data better to understand target customers in certain locations with advertising media. Users and marketers will be informed of essential information such as gender, age and interest (Audience Profile), number of viewers (Reach), number of times the media are viewed (Eyeballs), number of viewing occurrences (Frequency) and length of time spent in the media position (Dwell Time). This helps marketers reach target customers and gain insights from consumer behaviour through data analysis, leading to higher communication effectiveness, leading to higher communication effectiveness and, leading to higher communication effectiveness, more informed advertising budget allocation, and systematic performance measurement. Therefore, this technology significantly boosted the advertising media sales of the Company.
Confirming Our Leadership in Out-Of-Home Media with Various Awards of Success
The Company received an “Excellent” rating from the assessment on corporate governance conducted by the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) for 4 consecutive years from 2017-2020. This affirms that the Company operates our business in alignment with good corporate governance principles. The Company is also a member of the Thai Private Sector Collective Action against Corruption (CAC). Furthermore, the Company has been included in SET100 as one of 100 listed companies with the highest market capitalization and liquidity. Apart from these achievements, the Company won multiple prizes from SET Awards 2020 hosted by the Stock Exchange of Thailand for Business Excellence Category, including the 2020 Outstanding Company Performance Award for listed companies with a market capitalization of THB 10-30 billion, which reflects our leading position in the out-of-home media business. Plus, we also received the Outstanding CEO Award for 2020 and the Outstanding Young Rising Star CEO Award for 2019-2020. These awards are evidence the Company’s capabilities in conducting business with solid potential and sustainability.
Emphasizing People and Social Responsibility for Sustainable Growth.
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest priority has been given to our employees' health and safety, which are vital to overcoming the in the crisis. COVID-19 control and prevention measures were issued, including work from home policy, COVID-19 health insurance for all employees, temperature check before work, provision of masks and hand sanitizer for all employee, and spraying of disinfectants for different office areas every week. Plus, the Company and our subsidiaries, and business alliances, initiated projects to help alleviate the situation. For instance, Smiley Bag Project helped deliver over 30,000 survival kits with necessities to affected people in different communities, households and areas across Bangkok and upcountry. Also, the Company’s media were deployed free of charge for government agencies to conduce public relations to disseminate information and knowledge for the general population during the COVID-19 outbreak, including news reporting and infected situation updates with the purpose to prepare the people to best deal with the situation. Our media were utilized to promote self-care by encouraging people to stay at home to prevent or curb the spread of coronavirus and send positivity through supporting messages under the campaign “ThailandTogetherAsOne” with over 700 screens across the country.
Human capital remains our focal point as a key driver to achieve organizational goals. Effective team management and a proper work environment are promoted to ensure that employees enjoy working every day. Learning and development are also highlighted to equip employees with the necessary skills and capabilities. In contrast, employees are encouraged to participate in strategic planning to promote employee participation as a part of the organization.
All achievements mentioned could not be made possible without collaboration, trust and support from different parties, including the Board of Directors, executives, employees, counterparties, business partners and all customers. On behalf of executives, I would like to extend sincere gratitude to everyone for your long-standing support. We all are committed to developing business and continuously adapting to the rapidly-changing world to capitalize on opportunities and embrace potential challenges while adhering to sustainable development principles to deliver the best interest of all stakeholders with balance. We are proud to play a part in bringing Thailand toward a sustainable future. Finally, we would like to send moral support and our caring thoughts to everyone is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak to get through this crisis together and come out stronger.