Astro Q2 net profit al­most dou­bled

Favourable cur­rency move­ment drives down its fi­nance cost

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

PETALING JAYA: Astro Malaysia Hold­ings Bhd’s net profit nearly dou­bled to RM246.3mil in the sec­ond quar­ter ended July 31 de­spite flat­tish rev­enue, as favourable cur­rency move­ment drives down its fi­nance cost.

The group also said its earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion (EBITDA) mar­gin im­proved by 9% as the pro­por­tion of con­tent costs against rev­enue de­creased.

“Mar­gins and prof­its in the sec­ond quar­ter ben­e­fited from lower cost to serve and one-off sav­ings aris­ing from con­tent se­cured on more favourable terms,” group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ro­hana Rozhan said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Rev­enue was 0.6% lower at

RM1.42bil.

Ro­hana said the lower rev­enue was due to the end of a one-off sports chan­nel sub-li­cens­ing, as well as marginally lower con­tri­bu­tion from sub­scrip­tions and e-com­merce.

“Go­ing for­ward, the com­pany ex­pects rev­enue growth in the im­me­di­ate term to be un­der­pinned by e-com­merce, ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture, pro­duc­tion revenues and the NJOI pack­age,” she said.

She added that the com­pany would con­tinue to lever­age on new tech­nolo­gies to ad­dress a larger Asean mar­ket,

Astro will pay an in­terim div­i­dend of three sen in the sec­ond quar­ter.

For the first six months of fi­nan­cial year 2018, Astro’s net profit was up by nearly 35% year-on-year (y-oy) to RM442.17mil, driven by the in­crease in EBITDA, de­crease in de­pre­ci­a­tion of prop­erty, plant and equip­ment as well as the de­crease in net fi­nance costs.

The group’s rev­enue in the first half of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year de­creased by 1.62% y-o-y to RM2.75bil in con­trast to RM2.79bil a year ear­lier.

Mov­ing for­ward, the pay-TV op­er­a­tor is cau­tiously op­ti­mistic on its prospects for the rest of the fi­nan­cial year, con­sid­er­ing the rel­a­tively sub­dued con­sumer sen­ti­ment.

Astro serves 5.3 mil­lion, or about 72% of Malaysian house­holds. Ro­hana said its pay-TV churn rate saw a re­duc­tion dur­ing the quar­ter, with av­er­age rev­enue per user at RM100.8.

The com­pany said its TV view­er­ship share gained one ad­di­tional per­cent­age point and was now at 77%. Av­er­age view­ing time in­creased to four hours daily.

Astro Ra­dio leads with over 16 mil­lion lis­ten­ers weekly across its nine ra­dio brands.

Ro­hana: The com­pany ex­pects rev­enue growth in the im­me­di­ate term to be un­der­pinned by e-com­merce, ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture, pro­duc­tion revenues and the NJOI pack­age.

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