ASTRO POSTS RM106MN PATAMI IN Q3FY22, +21% Q-O-Q

Result highlights for the third quarter of the financial year ending 31 January 2022 (Q3FY22). [ All comparisons refer to the second quarter of FY22 (Q2FY22): quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) comparison, except as noted]:

  • Revenue moderated to RM1.02bn
  • PATAMI +21% q-o-q to RM106mn
  • Adex moderated to RM94mn
  • Third interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Astro’s Q3FY22 results remained resilient despite the lockdowns. Astro continued to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. The Board has declared a third interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share.”

Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “Our aggregation strategy execution is well on track. We recently launched the all-new Astro experience, with Netflix being the first of many apps to be integrated directly onto Ultra Box, allowing our customers to stream content from these apps seamlessly. They can now enjoy the best of global streaming services with our flagship shows and live sports all in one place on Astro.”

“Over 500k homes are already on Ultra and Ulti Boxes, including the self-installed Plug & Play version that runs solely on broadband. Meanwhile, Astro GO has 1.0mn monthly active users with average weekly viewing time of 4.2 hours, while On Demand videos streamed grew 189% to 387mn. In 9MFY22, our broadband base increased by 83% y-o-y as more customers bundled broadband with content for convenience and value.”

Key Highlights

  • Revolutionising TV Advertising With Addressable Advertising: Astro recently launched the first addressable advertising service in Southeast Asia. Powered by smart data, Astro’s Addressable Advertising solution will help both big brands and SMEs target specific audiences across TV and streaming services on all devices for more effective advertising targeting. The service is already live for Video On Demand content on Astro GO, the Ultra and the Ulti Box; and will be followed by Linear TV across all boxes in field during 2022
  • Live Sports Resonate on sooka: Astro’s streaming service for millennials, sooka garnered 2.1mn users and 4.5mn hours watched to date. sooka recorded encouraging results for live sports viewing, with over 1mn concurrent live views
  • Astro Original Content Winning Fans: YouTube ranked Rindu Awak Separuh Nyawa among the most loved content by Malaysian viewers for its fresh storytelling while i-Tanggang trended No.1 on Twitter. With the easing of restrictions from September, Astro was able to restart production of live reality shows. Key on-screen highlights included:

    o All Together Now Malaysia (1.3mn TV Viewership and 270k OD views)
    o Maharaja Lawak Mega 2021 (1.2mn TV Viewership and 105k OD views)
    o Cik Ayu Mee Sanggul (1.0mn TV Viewership and 499k OD views)
    o Astro First saw its revenue rise 7% y-o-y to RM28mn in 9MFY22, underpinned by
    – Penunggang Agama 2 (RM1.7mn collection to-date)
    – Kampung Latah Kena Kuarantin (RM1.3mn collection to-date)

  • ADEX and Enterprise Saw Signs of Recovery in October: While Adex grew 2% y-o-y to RM303mn in 9MFY22, Q3FY22 Adex declined by 5% q-o-q due to the lockdowns. However, with the reopening of the economy, Adex and Enterprise began to see recovery in October. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 76%, 35% and 2% respectively. With 60 new online radio stations launched, SYOK grew its digital presence in the audio space and saw podcast listens increasing 27% y-o-y to 761k. Astro Radio brands continued to rank No.1 across all languages, reaching 17.2mn weekly radio listeners (FM and digital), while Astro digital brands registered over 14.7mn monthly unique visitors
  • Positive ESG Impact: Astro remains steadfast in its commitment to be the nation’s agentfor positivity and voice for good through numerous environmental, social and governance initiatives:

    o Sustainability & CSR Malaysia Awards 2021 recognised Astro with an Overall Excellence in CSR by a Media Company
    o Championed education through increased educational content on Tutor TV, TVIQ and TV Pendidikan to facilitate and supplement learning
    o Launched a new learning series, SPM Pro+ to help students revise core subjects in preparation for the national exams
    o Collaborated with students from Universiti Malaya, Unimas and Universiti Malaysia Sabah on #BetterTogether University Challenge to support projects on sustainable communities
    o Partnered the Department of Environment (DoE) and ERTH (E-Waste Recycling Through Heroes) to launch an e-waste recycling programme as part of Astro’s commitment towards a greener future
    o Go Shop spearheaded Kita Sayang Malaysia campaign during Merdeka to promote local brands, enterprises and entrepreneurs; and partnered with local businesses to distribute food and care packages

Outlook

Tan continued, “The all-new Astro experience is an important milestone in realising our vision to be The Entertainment Destination for Malaysians. It encompasses:

  • our ambition to be Malaysia’s No.1 aggregator of the best streaming services;
  • enhancing local content with more premium Astro Originals;
  • seizing opportunities for adjacencies in digital, broadband and commerce; and
  • leveraging on new technology to reimagine our business models.”

“The recent signing of access and wholesale agreements with Telekom Malaysia lays the foundation for Astro to become an internet service provider, further strengthening the product bundling proposition and value that we will be able to bring our customers. The Group continues to invest in its transformation plans, in particular broadband, streaming, customer experience, data, addressable advertising and technology infrastructure to simplify our processes, reduce overheads and, most important, to better serve our customers.”

The re-opening of the economy is expected to have a positive impact on business in general, with improved prospects for the advertising and enterprise businesses. However, the recent emergence of a new COVID-19 variant of concern may impede the overall rate of recovery. The Group remains cautiously optimistic and will continue to monitor business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs.


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