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Astro up 6.2% on positive results


KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd rose 6.2% in early trade Thursday following the release of its positive earnings in line with analysts expectations.


The pay-TV operator gained 6.2%, or eight sen to RM1.37 with 10.6 million shares done.


Astro’s net profit jumped to RM153.22mil in the third quarter ended Oct 31, 2018 (Q3 2018) from RM146.68mil in the same quarter a year ago.


It said the higher net profit was attributable to the increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) which rose 13% to RM472.6mil against the corresponding quarter.


Revenue, however, slid to RM1.38bil from RM1.40bil last year.


Astro’s board has declared its third interim single-tier dividend of 2.5 sen per share, payable by Jan 4, 2019 for shareholders with equity in the company prior to Dec 20, 2018.


For the first nine months, Astro posted a net profit of RM344.52mil on revenue of RM4.11bil.


MIDF Research said Astro’s latest financial results came in-line with expectation.


It said despite recording a strong 3QFY19, cumulatively 9MFY19 normalised earnings decreased 28.6%year-on-year to RM404mil.


This was mainly impacted by higher content costs from the broadcasting of FIFA World Cup, increase in merchandise costs, and increase in interest expenses for borrowings and finance lease liabilities.


“All in, Astro’s 9MFY19 financial performance came in within our expectation, accounting for 80.4% of full year FY19 earnings estimate,” MIDF said.


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