FIFA World Cup drags Astro’s 2Q profit down sharply

Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad |Results highlights for the first half of the financial year ending 31 January 2019 (H1FY19)

  • Diversification underpins revenue resilience in a challenging market o Pay TV ARPU at RM99.9, Revenue remained resilient at RM2.7bn o EBITDA at RM750mn  o PATAMI at RM191mn

o Strong FCF of RM691mn enables second interim dividend of 2.5 sen per share

  • eCommerce Go Shop delivers strong performance with revenue +34% y-o-y to RM177mn
  • Higher prepaid voucher activation drives NJOI Prepaid revenue +15% y-o-y to RM53mn
  • Adex -11% y-o-y to RM312mn
  • Total customers +7% y-o-y to 5.6mn, driven by NJOI Prepaid

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Astro continues to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management whilst navigating through a challenging market and competitive media environment. The Board is pleased to declare a second interim dividend of 2.5 sen per share.”

Henry Tan, Chief Executive Officer designate of Astro, said: “As budgeted, we experienced increased content costs for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In addition, financial results were affected by the reduced need to advertise during the tax holiday period from 1 June to 31 Aug 2018 and the depreciating Ringgit.  Nevertheless, we continue to have stable revenues across TV and radio with diversification from digital platforms, eCommerce, licensing income and theatrical sales.”

Deeper Customer Engagement Across Platforms

Astro continues to increase engagement across all platforms now reaching 23mn TV viewers, 16.9mn weekly radio listeners, 7.0mn average monthly unique digital visitors and 1.5mn shoppers. With 5.6mn customers translating to 76% household penetration, Astro’s reach is unparalleled.

920,000 households are already connected to Astro’s On Demand service which represents a 44% y-o-y growth with the number of programmes watched on demand tripling to 23.7mn. Astro GO registered users grew by almost 50% y-o-y to 1.9mn.

Solid eCommerce Performance

Go Shop’s offerings continue to resonate with customers. Spurred by sales campaigns and zerorisation of the Goods and Services Tax, revenue rose 34% y-o-y to RM177mn, with total registered customers increasing by 50% y-o-y to 1.5mn.

Soft Adex Market 

Astro’s compelling content continues to drive viewership making Astro increasingly attractive to advertisers with TV viewership share at 75% and radio listenership at 16.9mn. Astro’s share of TV Adex and Radex remained strong at 41% and 75% respectively.

New Premier League Seasons Exclusively on Astro

Content being a key differentiator, Astro is pleased to announce exclusive Premier League rights for the next three seasons till 2021/22.  Football fans can look forward to all 380 matches live and in HD across TV and Astro Go, with selected matches available in 4K UHD.

Astro’s ‘Home of Sports’ proposition was further reinforced this year through broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games. World Cup viewership on Astro continued to increase across all platforms. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, TV viewership reached an alltime high of 11.6mn, and 1mn on Astro GO resulting in over 120k World Cup passes sold, as revenues from World Cup passes increased by 50% from the 2014 World Cup.

Breaking Records and Championing Local Content 

With previous local box office record at RM18mn, Hantu Kak Limah set the new benchmark by more than doubling the box office to RM38mn, beating latest Hollywood blockbusters; Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Marvel’s Deadpool 2. Astro’s latest Signature IP, Big Stage, is a first-of-its-kind talent show featuring social media stars and it achieved 18.8mn digital views and 2.0mn TV viewership. Astro’s homegrown content IPs continue to grow in importance.


Henry Tan said: “Going forward, we expect the group’s second half performance to improve and we will remain focused on key business drivers.  Astro is committed to improving customer experience beginning with a new interface for premium customers on TV and Astro GO allowing for a seamless viewing experience across all screens and the introduction of 4K Ultra HD offerings.”

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