Astro cautious over CMCO impact on ads revenue


ASTRO Malaysia Holdings Bhd remains cautious of the potential impact of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which may impact its advertising and commercial revenue.

The company noted that further extension to the CMCO will further cut its revenue amid structural changes in the media industry and promote ongoing acts of piracy.

Astro continued to recover in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20) with a net profit of RM164.53 million, or 3.15 sen per share, compared to RM133.65 million, or 2.56 sen per share, in 2Q20, following the gradual reopening of the economy.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, net income was down 3.7% versus RM170.85 million in 3Q19 on lower revenue, according to its exchange filing yesterday.

Turnover fell 9% YoY to RM1.11 billion against RM1.22 billion in the corresponding quarter last year attributed to a decrease in subscription and advertising revenue, partly offset by higher merchandise sales.

The company declared a third interim single-tier dividend of 1.5 sen per share for the financial year ending Jan 31, 2021, to be paid on Dec 30, 2020.

Astro group CEO Henry Tan said the group achieved positive results over two consecutive quarters, underpinned by its ability to adapt to the challenges and changing landscape.

“Despite the recent restriction of movements, Astro was well-prepared and thus, able to continue with productions and live shows with strict standard operating procedures in place, as well as new installations and home visits, with minimal disruption to our business operation.

“The group is committed to being the entertainment destination for Malaysians, by aggregating more streaming over-the-top services, pushing broadband bundles, producing more winning and compelling contents and simplifying our products, packages and processes,” he said.

Tan added that the group will continue to cost-optimise, re-prioritise capital expenditure and actively manage its capital to strengthen its balance sheet further.

The group’s chairman Tun Zaki Azmi said the company registered improvement in its 3Q20 performance amid the gradual reopening of the economy and relaxation of the MCO.

“Astro’s balance sheet remained strong as it continued to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management,” he said.

On a year-to-date basis, net profit fell 28% to RM372.02 million from RM516.38 million, while revenue was down nearly 12% to RM3.25 billion from RM3.69 billion in the corresponding period the year prior.

Its net profit decline was partly attributed to a decrease in Ebitda, while lower revenue was due to a decline in subscription and advertising income.