Astro 2Q earnings rise on lower costs

by RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

ASTRO Malaysia Holdings Bhd has reported a staggering 97.2% year-on-year (YoY) jump in net profit to RM246.3 million for the second quarter (2Q) ended July 31, driven by lower net nance and content costs.

The satellite television (TV) operator told Bursa Malaysia yesterday, its revenue declined marginally at 0.6% YoY to RM1.42 billion, to a decrease in subscription and licensing revenue.

TV subscription revenue of RM7.4 million was lower YoY due to lower package take-up, but was offset by an increase in advertisement spending notably during the Hari Raya period in June.

The group’s radio business segment posted higher revenue at RM88.7 million, an increase of 2.5%, from RM86.5 million in the same corresponding period last year. Yield and inventory management, supported by strong listenership ratings, contributed to the performance.

Astro’s home-shopping business’ quarter revenue eased to RM70.3 million against RM74.3 million in the preceding quarter a year ago, primarily due to additional campaigns executed during the current quarter.

The company has declared a three sen per share second interim dividend payable on Oct 13.

Astro group CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan (picture) said the company’s priority is to enhance customer experience, particularly in its on-demand (OD) and Astro GO offerings.

She highlighted good viewership performance, driven by the popularity of the “Game of Thrones” series and the recent 29th SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur.

“Going forward, the company expects its e-commerce, advertising expenditure, production revenue and NJOI (Astro’s free satellite service) to be the key revenue engines in the immediate term,” she said.

Astro’s shares ended five sen or 1.9% lower at RM2.63 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM13.7 billion.