AsiaSat: “Continued pricing pressures”
August 12, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Hong Kong-based AsiaSat, which is in the process of being taken private, in announcing its latest half-year numbers, says revenues fell 5 per cent [from HK$730 million (€83.28m) to HK$693 million] from the same period last year, and said: “The impact of continued pricing pressures from capacity oversupply in some key markets and increased competition from terrestrial networks” created the problem.
However, profits were up 4 per cent (from HK$215 million to HK$223 million) and helped by cost controls, favourable currency fluctuations and reduced tax expenses.
Overall capacity utilisation of AsiaSat’s core fleet of AsiaSat 5, AsiaSat 6, AsiaSat 7, AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 9 stood at 70 per cent (128 transponders utilised/leased) as of June 30th 2019 (December 31st 2018: 72 per cent, 131 transponders utilised/leased).
The operator said: “The initiative to transform AsiaSat 9 into a video ‘hotbird’ continues to gain traction, with new channels in Mandarin, Korean and Nepali added and market access expanding across the Asia-Pacific region”.
AsiaSat said: “The proposed privatisation of AsiaSat by way of a scheme of arrangement and delisting from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited announced on 27 June 2019, which is subject to approval by the scheme shareholders at the Court Meeting and Special General Meeting on 23 August 2019.”
AsiaSat’s Chairman, Gregory M. Zeluck, commented, “It is useful to note that satellite remains as the video delivery method of choice in the Asia-Pacific while new terrestrial services such as over-the-top (OTT), video-on-demand (VoD) and subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) continue to operate at a low revenue base. As of now, though the impact of OTT and other digital terrestrial platforms remains limited, we expect them to grow rapidly and the Group will continue to evaluate and explore various opportunities with our customers to provide new OTT services as value added extensions of our existing video distribution services.”