ASTRO DOUBLE DIGIT REVENUE GROWTH; PAYS DIVIDENDS
Highlights for the 9 months ended 31 October 2012 (“YTD FY13”):
- Revenue grew 11% from RM2.8bn to RM3.1bn
- Net adds grew 3 fold (278k Total, of which Astro pay TV 146k; NJOI 132k)
- ARPU grew 6% from RM87 to RM92
- EBITDA of RM1,042m (33% margin)
- Net Profit of RM336m
- Dividend of 1.5 sen per share
KUALA LUMPUR, 5th December 2012 - Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (“Astro”), one of Southeast Asia’s leading integrated consumer media entertainment groups, today released a strong set of financial results for the first 9 months of the financial year ending 31 January 2013.
Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro said, “The Company is committed to delivering growth in total shareholder returns balancing between a progressive dividend policy and capital appreciation. Having regards to the strong cash flows achieved by the business, the Board is pleased to declare a maiden quarterly dividend of 1.5 sen per share. ”
Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Chief Executive Officer of Astro said, “Astro is executing to plan, building on our market leadership. For the 9 months ended 31 October 2012, customer base grew by 278k, whilst ARPU grew 6% from higher take up of value added products and services, as a result of our continuing investment in content, talent and customer innovation.
Content and consumerism is key to our success. We intend to evolve our value proposition by creating, aggregating and distributing the best of local, regional and international content choices to each and every Malaysian, not only to their TV screens but increasingly to multi-screens. Recent examples include popular programmes like Oh My English! (“OME”), Maharaja Lawak Mega and Happy Dragon, where we adopted a multi-screen and multi-platform approach on TV, radio, online, mobile, on ground, publication and social media. As a result, for OME, we garnered a strong following with 3.6m views on TV, 7.7m views on YouTube, over 334k fans on Facebook, and it emerged as the number one show on Astro On-The-Go. YTD FY13 content costs stands at 31% (FY12 30%) and we continue to have good visibility of content cost particularly in light of the recently successful bid for Barclays Premier League, as well as other key programming contract renewals.
To date we have migrated 1.8m customers onto the Astro B.yond platform and are on track to complete this by the end of 31 January 2014. This will not only enable us to continue serving both existing and new customers better, but will also reaffirm our market leadership in Malaysia".
For YTD FY13, total Revenue grew 11% to RM3.1bn driven by a 7% growth in total pay TV customers to 3,213k and 6% ARPU growth. Pay TV net additions of 146k is approximately an 80% increase from the corresponding period last year. ARPU grew from RM87 to RM92 due to higher demand for value added services such as HD, PVR, On Demand (Astro First and Astro Best) and SuperPack.
Advertising revenue grew 17% to RM360m (FY12 RM308m), which reflects Astro's TV Adex share of 26% and Radex share of 53%. Astro’s Adex performance continues to outpace the industry’s growth rate.
As we accelerate customer additions and migration of our existing customers to Astro B.yond, our EBITDA and EBITDA margin is expected to decline marginally for the remainder of this financial year.
At 3,345k subscribers (including 132k of NJOI) or 50% penetration of total TV households in Malaysia, this underscores the continuing strong demand for Astro's products and services. Today, 65% or 1.15m (FY12 667k) of our 1.8m customers who are on Astro B.yond subscribe to HD services, 227k (FY12 76k) subscribe to our Personal Video Recorders, 650k (FY12 288k) take up SuperPacks, with over 5.0m Astro First and Astro Best buys since launch.
Astro On-The-Go, as part of Astro’s multi-screen strategy to distribute content beyond households to address individual needs, continues to be well received with 221k apps downloaded since its launch in May 2012.
Dato’ Rohana added, “Given Malaysia’s young and increasingly affluent population, we believe that Astro is well placed to continue to grow its subscriber base and share of consumer wallet by driving a higher take up of our value added services such as HD, PVR, IPTV, Astro On-The-Go, Astro First and Astro Best.”
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About Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd
Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad is a leading integrated consumer media entertainment group in Malaysia and Southeast Asia with operations in 4 key areas of business, namely TV, Radio, Publications and Digital Media.
With a customer base of over 3 million residential customers or approximately 50% penetration of Malaysian TV households, Astro offers 164 TV channels, including 27 HD channels, delivered via Direct-To-Home satellite TV, IPTV and OTT platforms. Astro provides HD, 3D, PVR, VOD and IPTV services through Astro B.yond and Astro On-The-Go. Fulfilling its promise to bridge the digital divide for all of Malaysia, Astro introduced NJOI as an entry-level DTH satellite TV service and is the country’s first non-subscription based satellite TV, offering 19 TV and 20 radio channels.
Astro Radio includes Malaysia’s highest rated stations across key languages and is available on both terrestrial and digital channels, reaching approximately 12 million weekly listeners and capturing a 52% share of listenership in Malaysia in April 2012. Its digital arm is involved in digital publishing, applications and platforms as well as publication of entertainment and lifestyle magazines locally.
The People’s Choice, Astro was awarded the “Brand of the Year” award at Malaysia’s Putra Brand Awards 2012. The award is in recognition of Astro’s efforts to exemplify innovation, quality and strong corporate social responsibilities.