Astro Holdings’ Q3 profit after tax up 11pc to RM171m

Astro enhances home entertainment and personalisation on Astro GO. — Picture via Astro
Astro enhances home entertainment and personalisation on Astro GO. — Picture via Astro

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Astro Holdings Berhad’s third quarter Profit After Tax and Minority Interest for the financial year ending January 2020 is up 11 per cent year-on-year to RM171 million, a strong showing underpinned by cost optimisation, the company said today.

Total revenue stood at RM1.2 billion although earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation decreased -3 per cent year-on-year to RM458 million, the cable television network said in a statement.

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said Astro remains highly cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management.

The Board announced a third interim dividend of 2 sen per share.

“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,” chief executive officer Henry Tan said.

Astro’s newly launched Ultra Box also contributed to the company’s strong showing, drawing a good response with over 10,000 orders to-date.

iQIYI launched its first app partnership outside China, with Astro taking lead in marketing, customer acquisition and media sales.

“With greater emphasis on video streaming services, we now have 3 exclusive streaming services – Astro GO, HBO GO and iQIYI,” Tan said.

Astro remains as the leading share of Malaysian TV households with 5.7 million or 76 per cent of Malaysian TV households with its original vernacular, international and live sports content.

Two of its newer products – On Demand and Astro GO – have gained strong traction, the company said. Astro’s TV viewership share is strong at 75 per cent while it 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 per cent to 51 million with weekly time spent increasing by 10 per cent to 503 minutes,” the broadcaster said.

“Astro GO’s registered users rose 14 per cent to 2.4 million with weekly viewing time jumping by 66 per cent to 264 minutes.”

Astro said its focus now 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.

This comes amid expectations that the market will remain challenging with structural changes in the global content, media and advertising industries, including threats of piracy and streaming wars, it said.

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

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