Astro’s Patami grows to RM176 million

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “In a competitive media landscape, Astro continues to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management.

“The Board is pleased to declare a first interim dividend of 2.0 sen per share.” Henry Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Astro, said: “In a challenging market, we delivered profit after tax and minority interests (PATAMI) growth underpinned by efforts to optimise content cost and operating expenses. We continue to entertain and engage with 5.7mn households and 23mn individuals with signature vernacular and premium content as well as the biggest live sports on our Pay-TV and NJOI platforms.”

Astro has also entered into exclusive partnerships with global OTT players including iQIYI, China’s No. 1 video streaming platform and HBO Asia for HBO GO. All Astro movie pack customers have free access to HBO GO which has over 3,000 hours of content library.

Under the partnership with iQIYI, Astro has the exclusive rights to deliver its content on TV, On Demand and OTT in Malaysia including the world’s first iQIYI branded channel comprising an extensive slate of original content from drama to variety shows and movies. This is iQIYI’s first such partnership in the region.

This is iQIYI’s first such partnership in the region. Henry Tan said, “We are excited about the opportunity that iQIYI presents in technology leadership and content innovation.

This partnership enables us both to leverage on the strength of our brands and skillsets to extend our reach in a content world which is increasingly personal and digital. Astro is working on more OTT partnerships and targets to announce more deals in the coming months.

Key Operational Highlights:

Growing On Demand and mobile viewing: Astro leads with TV viewership share of 73%. The number of connected set-top-boxes* rose 18% y-o-y to exceed 1mn, and correspondingly, On Demand video downloads increased by 51% to 16mn.

Astro GO’s registered users grew to 2.2mn, up 29% y-o-y. Expanding radio and digital reach: Astro Radio brands continue to be No.1 in their respective languages, reaching 16.7mn weekly listeners and 13.2mn monthly digital streams. ERA leads with 6.5mn weekly listeners while MY reinforced its appeal amongst the Chinese-speaking fans with 2.3mn weekly listeners.

Digital brands – Astro Awani, Gempak, Xuan, Ulagam and Stadium Astro registered 9.3mn average monthly unique viewers.

Growing Digital Adex: Astro’s digital Adex grew 13% y-o-y to RM9mn and achieved total Adex of RM145mn. While total Adex declined by 4%, Astro outperformed the industry Adex, which saw a 9% contraction.

Astro also introduced a new experience with connected set-top-boxes and Astro GO users, can look forward to a new and unified interface as well as cloud recording capabilities in the coming months.

The new Astro home screen will show users’ favourite programmes available On Demand, as well as recommendations based on what they love to watch.

Customers can also upgrade to the new Ultra Box to enjoy the brilliance of 4K-Ultra HD and cloud recording, which allows unlimited programmes to be recorded and watched on TVs and mobile devices.

Strong movie line-up in 2019: Astro’s strong line-up of movies this year include Malaysia’s first martial arts flick, Sangkar, a collaboration between Media Prima, Infinitus Gold and MM2 Entertainment; Boboiboy The Movie 2, a collaboration with leading animation producer, Animonsta; Wira, the next action movie by the director of Paskal The Movie; and The Garden of Evening Mists, an Astro Shaw production with HBO Asia and CJ Entertainment, featuring stellar international cast and crew.

The biggest entertainment on Astro Stellar Raya TV viewership: Astro Malay channel share grew during this Raya, led by Ria, Warna and Prima channels – making Astro the preferred destination for Raya entertainment.

Our Malay drama series, Curi Curi Cinta was the highest rated programme with over 3.0mn TV viewership.

Game of Thrones: The eighth and final season of the world’s biggest TV series, Game of Thrones, was a hit in Malaysia with 2.1mn unique TV viewers.

For the first time, non-Astro customers could purchase the special HBO Game of Thrones Pass. Fans also binged on all eight seasons with 2.5mn episodes watched On Demand.

Popular children’s series, Upin & Ipin, achieved 2.7mn downloads while singalong animation Didi & Friends registered 686k downloads.

Short-form and digital-first content: 3 Gadis Manis Season 3 was released as a boxset on Gempak to encourage binge watching, achieving a record 5.3mn digital views.

The market is increasingly challenging, with ongoing structural changes in the global content and media industry and threat of piracy.

Astro is focused on strengthening its core Pay TV and NJOI businesses by elevating its customer service, redefining customer value propositions and refreshing its content.

By leveraging on its multi platforms – TV, OTT, radio, digital, events, talents and its customer base, the company is building new revenue adjacencies in broadband, OTT, exporting content, data driven marketing network and commerce to drive stronger customer engagement.

In addition to efforts on revenue, ongoing cost optimisation initiatives will continue to create shareholder value.

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