Astro Q1 Profit Dampened By Negative Sentiments, Down 9% To RM119 Million

Astro announced its Q1FY23 results with revenue dipping 7% to RM972million while EBIDTA was up 3% to RM315 million. Commenting on the result, outgoing Chairman Tun Zaki said the expected recovery in consumer sentiment and spending from the full reopening of economic activities has been dampened by rising inflation and disruptions in global supply chains, arising from heightened geopolitical events and COVID-19restrictions.

He added the forex volatility impacted its PATAMI. Excluding unrealised forex losses, normalised PATAMI* in Q1FY23 stood at RM119mn. However, the group remained cash generative, cost disciplined, and proactive in its capital management. The Board has declared a first interim dividend of 1.25 sen per share. 

Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “Despite the headwinds, we remained steadfast in executing our transformation plan and our streaming aggregation strategy. Our ARPU improved to RM97.40, as customers migrate to the new and better value packages we launched last November.” 

“Over 600k homes are already on Ultra and Ulti Boxes, which run on both satellite and broadband. Astro GO has 867k monthly active users with average weekly viewing time of over 3 hours. On-Demand shows streamed grew 48% y-o-y to 148mn. In Q1FY23, our broadband base increased by 50%y-o-y as more customers bundled broadband with content for convenience and value.

Buoyed by the full reopening of economic activities, Q1FY23Adex increased 2%y-o-y to RM112mn. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 75%, 32% and 2% respectively. Astro Radio brands continued to rank No.1 across all languages, reaching a new record of  18.2mn weekly radio listeners (FM and digital).SYOK, Malaysia’s most popular audio entertainment app, saw its podcast monthly listens to increase by 40% y-o-y to 1mn. Astro digital brands registered over 11.3mnmonthly unique visitors.

On outlook

“The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022, which was gazetted in February 2022, is a major step forward in addressing digital piracy, resulting in criminalisation of the sale of Illegal Streaming Devices (ISD); and the distribution or sharing of unauthorised copyright content through applications, websites, and hyperlinks by any party through messaging applications or social media platforms.”

Having transitioned into the endemic phase, the nation’s economy is expected to recover. However, recovery is expected to be uneven with headwinds from intermittent COVID-19 waves, supply chain disruption leading to cost-push inflation, further interest rate hikes, and near term market volatility resulting from current geopolitical events. The Group remains cautiously optimistic and will continue to monitor business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs.

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