Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad posted its third quarter results for the financial year ending 31 January 2020 (Q3FY20) as follows:

• Revenue at RM1.2bn
• EBITDA -3% y-o-y to RM458mn
• PATAMI +11% y-o-y to RM171mn and 9M FY20 PATAMI +50% y-o-y to RM516mn; underpinned by cost optimisation
• Strong FCF of RM234mn enables third interim dividend of 2 sen per share
• Pay-TV ARPU resilient at RM99.90

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Astro remains highly cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. The Board is pleased to declare a third interim dividend of 2 sen per

Henry Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “Despite a challenging media landscape, Astro continues to deliver solid PATAMI growth as we continue our journey to improve customer service, refresh our content, as well as enhancing home entertainment and personalisation on Astro GO.

The newly launched Ultra Box saw good response with over 10,000 orders to-date. iQIYI launched its first app partnership outside China, with Astro taking the lead in marketing, customer acquisition and media sales. With greater emphasis on video streaming services, we now have three exclusive streaming services – Astro GO, HBO GO and iQIYI.

Some of the key operational highlights for Astro are as follows:

• Leading share of Malaysian TV households: Astro leads with 5.7mn, or 76% of Malaysian TV households with its original vernacular, international and live sports content.
• On Demand and Astro GO gaining traction: Astro’s TV viewership share is strong at 75%. The company is further enhancing customer viewing experience by increasing its HD offering from 69 to 100 channels by year end. On Demand video downloads grew 34% to 51mn with weekly time spent increasing by 10% to 503 minutes. Astro GO’s registered usersrose 14% to 2.4mn with weekly viewing time jumping by 66% to 264 minutes.
• Growing Adex share despite soft market sentiment: Astro Radio reinforced its leadership position as the No. 1 radio brand with record high listenership of 16.9mn. ERA, Hitz, MY and RAAGA remain #1 in their respective languages. Radex share rose six percentage points to 80% while TV Adex share increased by one percentage point to 44% despite 9M FY20 total Adex declined by 4% y-o-y to RM469mn. 9M FY20 Digital Adex stood at RM33mn, translating to digital Adex share of 4%, supported by 11.1mn digital monthly unique visitors acrossits digital brandssuch as Astro Awani, Gempak, Xuan, Ulagam and Stadium Astro.

Astro launched the following initiatives:

• The new Astro Experience with Ultra Box: Malaysians can now enjoy the best of entertainment with 4K UHD, Cloud Recording, Play from Start, fresh interface for seamless viewing on all screens and improved content recommendation. The Ultra Box and connected PVRs allow customers to stream over 50,000 videos on demand while sports fans can look forward to UEFA EURO 2020, the Premier League, Formula 1 and La Liga in 4K UHD, a first in Malaysia.
• Astro Shaw movies continue to make waves: The Garden of Evening Mists received 9 nominations at the 56th Golden Horse Award, the highest ever for a Malaysian film and won best makeup and costume design. It premieres in Malaysian cinemas on 16 January 2020. Meanwhile, Pusaka, 100% developed in-house from ideation to screenplay, thrilled horror fans and exceeded expectations with a gross box office of RM13.5mn and Wira, an action-packed movie, is currently showing in cinemas.
• Astro original IPs growing in strength: Astro continues to invest in local and vernacular content, which constantly garners the highest viewership. Average viewing time is over four hours daily and 2/3 of time spent is on local and vernacular content. New IPs line-up are Sembilan, a Nusantara Original Series, The A Game, a new game show and Hello Pinkfong, the world’s first Pinkfong and Baby Shark live-action show.

The market remains challenging with structural changes in the global content, media and advertising industries, including threats of piracy and streaming wars.

Astro’s focus is to strengthen its core Pay TV and NJOI businesses by redefining customer value propositions, elevating customer service, refreshing and aggregating the best content and streaming services.

The company will leverage on its customer base to build new revenue streams in commerce, broadband, digital and OTT, whilst maintaining disciplined cost optimisation.

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