Astro Q3 net profit falls to RM105.92m

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for Q3 2021 (Q3) fell to RM105.92 million. — Bernama file pic
Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for Q3 2021 (Q3) fell to RM105.92 million. — Bernama file pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Oct 31, 2021 (Q3) fell to RM105.92 million from RM164.53 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue decreased to RM1.02 billion from RM1.11 billion previously.

The company said its revenue continued to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw a 7.6 per cent decline from the corresponding quarter, mainly due to the decrease in subscription, advertising revenue, and merchandise sales, but was offset by an increase in sales of programming rights.

“Net profit decreased by RM61.1 million or 36.8 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter previously, mainly due to the decrease in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), offset by lower net financing costs, tax expenses and amortisation of software,” Astro said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.

Commenting further on the results, group chief executive officer Henry Tan said advertising expenditure (Adex) fell five per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) due to the lockdowns but grew by two per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) for the cumulative nine-month period.

Radio Adex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 76 per cent, 35 per cent and two per cent respectively, he noted.

“However, with the reopening of the economy, Adex and Enterprise segment began to see recovery in October.

“With 60 new online radio stations launched, SYOK app grew its digital presence in the audio space and saw podcast listeners increasing 27 per cent y-o-y to 761,000.

“Astro Radio brands continued to rank No.1 across all languages, reaching 17.2 million weekly radio listeners, while Astro digital brands registered over 14.7 million monthly unique visitors,” he shared.

On outlook, Tan said the recent signing of access and wholesale agreements with Telekom Malaysia laid the foundation for Astro to become an Internet service provider, further strengthening the product bundling proposition and value that it will be able to bring to the customers.

The group would continue to invest in transformation plans, particularly in broadband, streaming, customer experience, data, addressable advertising, and technology infrastructure to simplify processes, reduce overheads and, most importantly, to better serve the customers, he added.

“The reopening 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 remained cautiously optimistic and will continue to monitor business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs,” he said.

Chairman Tun Zaki Azmi commented that Astro’s Q3 results remained resilient despite the lockdowns.

“The company 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,” he added. — Bernama

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