Pay-TV company Astro delivers nearly double net profit in Q1

KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd said earnings almost doubled in the first quarter, but warned that prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns may impact its revenue.

Net profit in the three-month ended April 30 climbed 91% to RM141mil from RM73.8mil a year ago, mainly due to increased margins and lower net financing costs.

Revenue improved 1% to RM1.06bil, the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

It has declared an interim dividend of 1.5 sen a share.

Earlier this month, Astro introduced two new streaming services: sooka featuring live sports and winning local content for millennials and Disney+ Hotstar.

"Customers can look forward to more exciting additions as we push ahead with our ambition to be Malaysia’s #1 aggregator of the best streaming services,” group chief executive officer Henry Tan said.

“Our Ultra and Ulti Box, already in over 300,000 homes are giving customers a new viewing experience," he said.

"Astro GO, enhanced with ‘pre-access’ and ‘download’ features, has 1.4 million monthly active users with an average weekly viewing time of 213 minutes, while On Demand videos streamed tripled to 100 million," he added.

Meanwhile, Astro's broadband base grew around 80% y-o-y.

While growth in the first quarter was robust, the company said operating environment remains challenging amid nationwide lockdowns.

"Prolonged lockdowns may impact Astro’s revenue, in particular advertising and enterprise revenue," it said.

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