Astro results improves on back of economic recovery
March 31, 2022
Astro Malaysia has posted fourth quarter results from the financial year ended 31 January 2022.
Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Astro’s Q4 FY22 results improved q-o-q on the back of economic recovery. However, consumer sentiment and spending power continued to be soft. The Group remained cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. The Board has declared a fourth interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share and proposed a final dividend of 0.75 sen per share, rewarding our shareholders with a full year dividend of 6.75 sen per share. This represents 76 per cent of FY22 profits, over and above our dividend policy of paying out 75 per cent of PATAMI.”
Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro, added: “In FY22, we executed our transformation plan and our streaming aggregation strategy to be Malaysia’s No.1 Entertainment Destination. The new Astro experience puts consumers at the heart of our business and offers better-value bundles in a single bill by providing the best global streaming services, in combination with our flagship shows and live sports seamlessly in one place. Customers are responding well to these new bundles, and we are ahead of expectations in terms of current subscribers migrating to the new packs and recontracting. We now offer three distinct services for Malaysians – Astro; our premium Pay-TV brand, NJOI; our prepaid option and sooka; our standalone freemium streaming service catering to millennials with a mobile-first lifestyle.”
“We doubled our streaming services to six, with Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and TVBAnywhere+ joining our existing Astro GO, HBO Go and iQIYI, with more to come in FY23, strengthening Astro as the go-to streaming destination for Malaysians. Netflix has been integrated directly onto Ultra and Ulti Boxes and Disney+ Hotstar will soon follow suit. Over 550k homes are already on Ultra and Ulti Boxes, which run on both satellite and broadband. Meanwhile, Astro GO has 919k monthly active users with average weekly viewing time of 4 hours, while On Demand shows streamed grew 139 percent y-o-y to 530mn. NJOI Prepaid revenue increased by 17 per cent y-o-y, driven by prepaid packs. In FY22, our broadband base increased by 58 per cent y-o-y as more customers bundled broadband with content for convenience and value,” continued Tan.
“We are rolling out our own internet service, Astro Fibre to add value to our customers’ entertainment experience. It offers a one-stop connectivity and content solution with speeds from 50Mbps to 800Mbps together with mesh Wifi and Astro’s rich content from as low as RM129.99. We are also rolling out Astro’s Addressable Advertising to make TV Advertising more effective with digital-style targeting capabilities across TV and streaming services. The service is already live for Video On Demand content on Astro GO, Ultra and Ulti Box; to be followed by Linear Channels across all boxes and Astro GO later this year,” Tan said.
· More Sports for Fans: 2022 is a big sports year, with comprehensive coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Asian Games, SEA Games, F1, MotoGP, BWF, Grand Slams, ATP and many more in HD and 4K UHD
· More Edgy Astro Originals to Thrill Fans: With the easing of restrictions, our productions are back with The Maid (Season 2), The House (Season 7), One Cent Thief, Histeria and Liar coming soon. Key content highlights include:
o Gegar Vaganza S8 continued its reign as Malaysia’s No.1 entertainment show (2.5mn TV Viewership and 1.08mn OD views)
o Astro Originals series, Dukun Diva, reached 2.4mn TV viewers, recorded 645k OD views and generated strong buzz among the young and urban audiences with a social media reach of over 30mn
o Astro First remained the No.1 platform for local movies in FY22:
§ Penunggang Agama, the No.1 horror franchise in Malaysia with RM5mn collection
§ Kampong Pisang Berbuah Dua Kali achieved RM2mn collection within the first twenty days of release
· sooka hit one million app downloads: Our streaming service for millennials, sooka, achieved new milestone of one million app downloads; and garnered 3.2mn users and 412mn minutes watched to date. sooka’s distribution has been expanded to include the Maxis TV platform, and it is now also available on the big screen through selected Smart TVs.
· ADEX & Enterprise Recovery: Q4FY22 Adex rose 56 per cent q-o-q, buoyed by economic recovery and resumption of signature productions. Meanwhile, Enterprise saw signs of recovery with its customers increasing by 3 per cent q-o-q as the economy started to reopen, albeit with many COVID-19 restrictions remaining in place for F&B Outlets and Hotels. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 77 per cent, 35 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. SYOK, strengthened by its 60 new online radio stations, grew its digital presence in the audio space and saw its podcast monthly listens increased by 39 per cent y-o-y to 821k
· Positive ESG Impact: Recognised by global ESG rating agency, Sustainalytics, as a Regional Top Performer in 2022, ranking amongst the Top 10 per cent of all companies globally. We remain steadfast in our commitment to be the nation’s agent for positivity and voice for good through numerous environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives such as:
o Donated over RM200,000 to help flood victims, while staff contributed over 8,000 kg of food items and participated in flood relief works organised by various NGOs
o Astro Radio rolled out its #KamiCareFloodRelief programme in Klang Valley and East Coast
o Continued to support The Krishen Jit Fund which provided a total grant of RM86,000 in 2021 to 11 Malaysian artists
o Advocating for participation of youth in the process of democracy with coverage and discussion on Undi18 on Awani
o Initiated Jiwa SME to equip local SMEs with digital skillsets to thrive during the pandemic and boosted their stories on Awani
o Awarded RM40,000 to Universiti Malaya, Unimas and Universiti Malaysia Sabah students in support of sustainable projects
o Collected 265 kg of e-waste under our e-waste recycling campaign
o Donated 35 refurbished laptops to B40 families under Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s #MyBaikHati initiative
The all-new Astro experience is an important milestone in realising our vision to be The Entertainment Destination for Malaysians. It encompasses:
• our ambition to be Malaysia’s No.1 aggregator of the best streaming services;
• enhancing local content with more premium Astro Originals;
• seizing opportunities for adjacencies in digital, broadband and commerce; and
• leveraging on digital, data and technology to reimagine our business models
Tan continued, “In FY23, Astro is powering up by becoming an internet service provider, bundling Astro Fibre with content, introducing Astro Fibre standalone broadband to complement our suite of offerings, as well as the full-scale rollout of our addressable advertising proposition. The Group continues to invest in its transformation plans, in particular content, broadband, streaming, customer experience, data, addressable advertising and technology infrastructure to simplify our processes and most importantly, to better serve our customers.”
“Anti-piracy efforts by the authorities, content partners and industry players saw significant progress including landmark rulings to denounce content piracy as theft, illegal, and punishable by law. More recently, the passing of the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 is another major step forward in addressing piracy under Malaysian law, enabling legal action to be taken against sellers of Illegal Streaming Devices (ISD).”
”Overall, the nation’s economy is expected to recover in FY23 supported by the transition from pandemic to endemic. While this is expected to have a positive impact on businesses and households, economic recovery is expected to be uneven, with headwinds in the form of intermittent COVID-19 waves, inflation, potential interest rate hikes and more recently potential spillover from global geopolitical events. The Group remains cautiously optimistic and will continue to monitor business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs.”