Astro posts 4Q net profit of RM54.7mil

KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, which posted a net profit of RM54.75mil in the fourth quarter ended Jan 31 (4Q), maintained a cautious outlook and will monitor business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs.

The pay-tv operator, in a statement, said in the financial year ending Jan 31, 2024 (FY24) will see Astro continuing to invest in its transformation for long term and sustainable growth, focusing on content, broadband, streaming, addressable advertising, customer experience, data and technology to better serve customers.

“The group’s strategic partnership with the Malaysian Football League (MFL) marks its re-entry as the official broadcaster of Liga Malaysia, Malaysia’s top tier professional football league. Remaining steadfast to its aspiration as Malaysia’s Home of Sports, Astro will raise production quality, drive better engagement and provide comprehensive coverage of the Liga Malaysia sporting franchise, giving fans the #DemiLigaKita experience they truly deserve. Astro expects this to be positive for the business going forward,” it said.

Astro will also be adding lifestyle apps, relevant for Malaysians in the near future. Focus will also be on scaling sooka, its freemium streaming service for younger cord-nevers that is available both on both mobile and the big screen through its smart TV app.

It said the group was now equipped with unified audience measurement on linear and on demand and has recently augmented this measurement currency to include commercial establishments.

“The group expects addressable advertising to gain traction as more advertisers tap into its capability to deliver targeted ads to specific individuals or households based on location, affluence and other demographics by leveraging Astro’s first-party data,” Astro said.

Meanwhile, Astro Fibre, its own internet service launched in March 2022, has seen encouraging traction especially across broadband-content bundles, and was recently made available to enterprise customers. Bundled with content packages, it expects Astro Fibre to continue growing into the future.

In 4Q, Astro’s revenue stood at RM990.67mil against RM1.03bil in the same period last year. Its earnings per share for the quarter stood at 1.05 sen from 2.43 sen a year prior.

For the full year, it posted a net profit of RM259.04mil, down 44% from RM460.9mil last year while revenue dipped 9% to RM3.8bil against RM4.17bil a year ago.

Astro said in this quarter its legal entity recognised a non-cash impairment of RM763mil in respect of its historical cost of investments in subsidiaries.

This impairment is an accounting adjustment and has no impact on the group's consolidated profit after taxation and minority interests, nor any bearing on the entity or group’s current or future cash position.

“Given the non cash impairment, no interim or final dividends will be paid this quarter. The dividend declared in respect of FY23 amounts to 3.0 sen per share, equating to a 60% payout ratio,” Astro said.

Group CEO Euan Smith said customers were streaming more than ever on the Ultra and Ulti boxes, as well as on Astro GO, with its on demand shows streamed rising 25% year-on-year (YoY) to 660 million.

“Our value-added streaming-focused TV packs, which can be bundled with Astro Fibre, are delighting our current customers and attracting new ones, contributing to the growth of both our ARPU by RM1 YoY to RM98.20, and increasing our broadband base by 34% YoY,” he said.

Its total adex rose 14% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to RM126mil, with year-end festivities and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 driving strong performance across all TV, radio and digital platforms. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 73%, 34% and 2% respectively.

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Astro , dividend , Euan Smith , Adex , ARPU


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