Astro turns 25 this year and what good birthday gifts its giving out, the group saw its first quarter profit jump 91% to RM141 compared to 2020 with revenue standing at RM1.06 billion, this is a strong recovery for the satellite broadcaster whose profits were effected by the lockdowns during the early Covid scare last year.
The surge was attributed to better ADEX and TV shopping which both enjoyed 21% increase, Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “FY22 promises to be an actionpacked year. Customers can look forward to more exciting additions as we push ahead with our ambition to be Malaysia’s #1 aggregator of the best streaming services.”
The pay TV group continued to penetrate households, its Ultra and Ulti Box, is already in over 300k homes, Astro GO has 1.4mn monthly active users with an average weekly viewing time of 213 minutes, while On Demand videos streamed tripled to 100mn. Its broadband base grew around 80% y-o-y, as more customers bundled broadband with their content packages for convenience and value.
Advertising spend increased on its channels to RM109mn, outperforming the 9% advertising industry growth. However, the ongoing lockdowns will dampen revenue performance where clients have been cautious; and in the Commercial Establishment and Hotel business, impacted by low traffic and occupancy. TV viewership share was stable at 72%. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 78%, 39% and 3% respectively. Astro Radio brands continued to hold strong positions in the industry reaching 17mn weekly radio listeners across all languages (FM and digital), while Astro digital brands registered over 13mn monthly unique visitors. Plans are underway to reinvent and digitise radio with a focus on everything audio – including podcasts and customised content for the new generation of streamers. Go Shop customers rose 23% y-o-y to 2.9mn and Q1 revenue increased by 21% to RM115mn.
As for the rest of the year, Astro views the operating environment to remain challenging amid nationwide lockdowns, even as the country rolls out its vaccination programme. Prolonged lockdowns may impact its revenue, in particular advertising and enterprise revenue.