Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Asia Books Co expects revenue growth of 20-25% to 1.2 billion baht this year thanks to an aggressive business expansion since last year.

The company plans to open 12 new branches with total investment of 120 million baht after adding eight branches last year including its biggest store at CentralWorld costing 100 million baht and taking up 1,000 square metres.

The country's leading English-language bookseller expects reading to pick up this year.

Established in 1969, Asia Books has 33 stores and 25 kiosks nationwide, and is now owned by whisky tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

A 40-million-baht budget is set for activities such as the introduction of supercar book collections. The supercar books will be displayed at Asia Books CentralWorld, which has over 200,000 books and estimates 2,000 clients per day, with 60% Thais and 40% foreign customers.

Apart from new book categories and online stores, Asia Books will expand abroad with a couple of stores planned for neighbouring countries next year.

"We set up an e-book store platform and invested around 10 million baht for digital investigation management, software to protect our copyrights. Although revenue from e-books accounted for only 5% of our total sales last year, we believe this will rise to at least 10% by 2014," said managing director Sirote Jiraprayoon.

Its e-book store kicked off last year at, and downloads can be made in both Thai and English. It has around 1 million books in its database.

"E-books still have a limited audience, but the industry expects books will go majority digital by 2022," said Mr Sirote.

The Kodak bankruptcy reminded publishers they need to adjust to technology, he added.

"Some publishers may not want to spend to develop an e-book platform because it's costly. But they cannot afford to ignore the trend," he said.

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