Thailand's largest contractor says backlog value could swell to B300-400bn

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Thailand’s largest contractor says backlog value could swell to B300-400bn

Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), Thailand’s largest contractor, expects the value of its project backlog could jump from 42 billion baht last year to between 300 and 400 billion this year.

A 77-billion-baht contract signed in the first quarter for the Dawei megaproject in Burma outstripped the 67-billion-baht combined value of all contracts ITD signed from 2008-10, president Premchai Karnasuta said yesterday.

Including work in hand at subsidiaries, ITD’s current backlog is valued at 200.5 billion baht. Bids are pending for projects worth 217.6 billion baht altogether.

“If we can win all the projects we have bid for, which is highly likely, our backlog will jump to 300 to 400 billion baht,” Mr Premchai told the shareholders’ meeting yesterday.

Ongoing projects include a 38-billion-baht elevated road in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will preside over a groundbreaking ceremony today; and the Dawei project.

The company aims to bid for projects worth a potential 1.4 trillion baht in Thailand and 3 trillion overseas.

“In recent years, there were not so many projects launched and the competition was high,” he said. “But recently we have seen many projects that we are strongly capable of working on, such as electric trains, trains and dams Because we are able to control the costs [of these projects], the margin should be substantial and generate good returns.”

Last year, 68% of the company’s projects were in Thailand and 32% abroad but the share from the latter is rising. About 23% of project values represent private-sector work and the rest government agencies and state enterprises.

Shareholders yesterday approved a plan for ITD to issue up to 10 billion baht worth of debentures with maturities of up to 10 years, partly to refinance existing debts of about 20 billion baht.

Of the total amount, 3-4 billion baht would be issued in the first half of this year. Its current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.7:1 with cash on hans of 2 billion baht.

Normally, ITD has capital expenditures of 2 billion baht per year.

Siam Commercial Bank is the lead financial creditor for the Dawei project on which construction is scheduled to start in early 2012. SCB is planning a roadshow overseas to find other potential investors for the 200,000-rai infrastructure and industrial project.

ITD shares closed yesterday on the SET at 4.42 baht, up two satang.


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