Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad has released its result highlights for the fourth quarter of the financial year ended 31 January 2021.
[All comparisons refer to the third quarter of FY21 (Q3FY21): quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) comparison, except as noted]:
- Revenue stable at RM1.11bn (USD$267,663,500)
- PATAMI resilient at RM168mn (USD$40,511,000)
- Adex up amid lockdown at RM130mn (USD$31,348,000)
- Go Shop profitable, achieved record revenue of RM461mn in FY21, up 26% y-o-y
- Fourth interim and final dividend of 1.5 sen and 2.5 sen per share respectively
Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Our fourth quarter performance remained strong despite the recent lockdown. Astro’s balance sheet continued to be robust, cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. The Board has declared a fourth interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share and proposed a final dividend of 2.5 sen per share, rewarding our shareholders with a full year dividend of 8.0 sen per share (FY20: 7.5 sen per share). This represents 77% of FY21 profits, over and above our dividend policy of paying out 75% of PATAMI.”
Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “With 3 consecutive quarters of recovery, Astro ended FY21 with revenue and PATAMI resilient at RM4.4bn and RM540mn respectively.
“With the latest ‘Cloud Recording’ and ‘Play from Start’ features, our connected 4K-UHD Ultra Box installs recorded a 5-fold increase to 230K and On Demand videos streamed have tripled to 222mn in FY21. We also recently introduced Ulti Box, a HD variant STB to bring connected features to more households. To deliver a higher quality viewing experience, all Standard Definition (SD) channels are being upgraded to High Definition (HD). Astro GO, enhanced with ‘Pre-Access’ and ‘download-to-go’ features, saw an increase in its monthly active users by 13% y-o-y to 1.3mn while its average weekly viewing time rose 8% to 187 minutes.
“Adex recovered as live production resumed, alongside the premieres of compelling Astro Originals. NJOI prepaid revenue grew 36% q-o-q while Astro broadband bundles saw an encouraging take-up with over 60% increase in broadband subscribers y-o-y. Go Shop capitalised on growing demand for online shopping and achieved record revenue of RM461mn.”
Recovery in Adex: Despite restrictions in January, Adex recovered, underpinning a commendable FY21 Adex at RM428mn. TV viewership share was stable at 73%. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 76%, 41% and 3% respectively. Astro’s radio brands maintained their No.1 position in their respective languages, reaching 17mn weekly radio listeners (FM and digital), while Astro’s digital brands registered 14mn monthly unique visitors.
Go Shop Achieved Record Revenue: PBT of RM17mn is recorded in FY21 on the back of a 26% y-o-y increase in revenue to RM461mn. Registered customers increased by 30% y-o-y to 2.8mn.
Astro Originals Winning More Fans:
- Gegar Vaganza (3.3mn TV Viewership)
- Perempuan Tanpa Dosa (2.1mn TV Viewership )
- Kampong Pisang Bersiri-siri (1.4mn TV Viewership)
- Evening Edition (567k TV Viewership ) | Prime Talk (507k TV Viewership)
Astro First – New Box Office Record: Astro’s efforts to collaborate with local creative talents to further develop the entertainment industry have yielded positive results. During the pandemic with cinema closed, local producers premiered their films on Astro First. FY21 revenue jumped 71% y-o-y to RM33mn (FY20: RM19mn).
Social Impact: Education has always been at the heart of Astro’s ESG pillar. In the past 10 years, the Group has invested RM120mn in its education initiatives, enabling Astro to offer learning content like Tutor TV, TVIQ and TV Pendidikan for all Astro and NJOI customers, reaching 5mn students nationwide. These channels have received many commendations from students, parents and teachers in helping to achieve better academic results. Most recently, SMK: Study Squad became the most watched academic show in Malaysia with an audience reach of 2.6mn viewers.
Astro remains cautious on uncertainties relating to COVID-19, even as Malaysia commences its national vaccine rollout. Any re-imposition or tightening of movement control orders to curb COVID-19 outbreaks may impact advertising and commercial revenues.
“Astro is celebrating being 25 years young this year. We are excited to continue the execution of our transformation plan that encompasses:
our ambition to be the aggregator of the best global streaming services, launching our own streaming service catering for millennials that combines our winning vernacular content and premium live sports, enhancing local content by producing more premium Astro Originals, seizing opportunities for adjacencies in commerce, broadband, digital and OTT, and realisation of our reimagined business models and technology with the evolving ecosystem.
“Our intent is to offer a great entertainment experience across all screens for everyone, whether individuals, homes or enterprises,” said Tan.
The Group will continue to cost optimise, re-prioritise capex and actively manage its capital to further strengthen its balance sheet.