Against the backdrop of social distancing SOPs and guidelines, Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (“Astro”) recently held its 8th Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) in a virtual setting from the All Asia Broadcast Centre, Bukit Jalil. The meeting was chaired by Tun Zaki Azmi, with the Directors, Group Chief Executive Officer Henry Tan and Astro Management in attendance. Shareholders and proxies participated remotely in the AGM and voted online. All 17 tabled resolutions were successfully passed.
Speaking at the AGM, Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro said: “Financial Year 2020 (“FY20”) has been a busy and productive year for Astro, as we rolled out many new innovative products and solutions across business lines to meet the needs of our customer base, both households and individuals. Amid digital upheavals reshaping the media landscape, Astro delivered a positive FY20 financial performance, underpinned by a disciplined focus on operational efficiencies.”
Henry Tan said: “Inspired by the #kitajagakita spirit shown by Malaysians and Malaysian companies in helping each other overcome the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Astro quickly took a series of actions to support the nation, customers and communities.”
“We kept Malaysians informed and entertained with complimentary viewing of additional channels, broadcast learning content to all students, assisted in broadcasting over 3000 hours of public service announcements, provided news coverage and debunked misinformation across our TV, radio and digital platforms. With the closure of cinemas, we worked with local film producers to premiere their movies direct to homes on Astro First.”
“To alleviate the financial burden of our customers, we temporarily suspended disconnections and offered instalment payment plans, as well as a one-off rebate for Sport Pack customers. We also introduced flexible subscription and payment arrangements for commercial establishments.”
Priorities Going Forward
Tan also shared with shareholders Astro’s priorities as the nation focuses on recovery. He said: “Astro aims to strengthen its position as the preferred Entertainment Destination for Malaysians, serving both homes and individuals. We will deepen engagement with our 5.7 million customers via new Astro experiences like 4K UHD and cloud recording on the Ultra Box, Broadband and eCommerce. Our content and broadband bundles offer even more value and convenience, as well as unlock our rich On Demand library of over 50,000 titles. Meanwhile, NJOI, our freemium TV service, offers Malaysians a compelling free TV proposition with options to purchase additional channels and content.”
Concurrently, Astro is addressing individual needs through its video streaming services, radio, commerce and digital brands. The Group has 3 exclusive streaming services, namely Astro GO, HBO GO and iQIYI apps, offering even richer content slate and special privileges through these apps for its customers. The Group will be introducing more streaming services for its customers soon. Go Shop performed well during the MCO and is optimistic that the positive trend will sustain. Even as supply lines were disrupted, Go Shop pivoted into health-related products, fresh food and daily essentials as demand picked up.
Astro’s swift response to support customers and Malaysians during the Movement Control Order was possible because of the critical building blocks put in place in FY20 to strengthen both its household and individual offerings.
Astro will deepen household engagement via Pay TV, Broadband and NJOI and reach more individuals through Streaming Services, Digital, Commerce and Radio.
In conclusion, Tan said: “We have shown ourselves to be agile and responsive, driven by technology and digital; and leveraging on Astro’s strengths – namely content, market reach and marketing capabilities. Astro is more than just a platform. Going forward, our focus is to produce more winning and compelling content; and concurrently innovate and simplify our offerings and customer experience. We will aggregate more streaming OTT services to be the digital content provider of choice. We will also continue to cost optimise, pursue active capital management and reprioritise capex to ensure financial headroom for a challenging year ahead.”
The Astro Malaysia Integrated Annual Report 2020 and Corporate Governance Report 2020 are available for download on Bursa Malaysia website and Astro website.