Astro Q2 net profit almost doubles

PETALING JAYA: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended July 31, 2017 rose 96.4% to RM246.34 million from RM125.43 million a year ago due to an increase in earnings before interest, tax and depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) and a decrease in net finance costs.

The drop in finance cost was attributed to favourable unrealised foreign exchange gains arising from unhedged non-current balance sheet liabilities.

Revenue for the latest quarter of RM1.42 billion was 0.6% lower than the RM1.43 billion of the previous corresponding period, due mainly to a fall in subscription and licensing income.

Astro group CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan said its diversified revenue streams across the TV, radio and digital platforms, advertising expenditure (adex) and e-commerce continued to show resilience.

“Margins and profits in Q2FY18 benefited from lower cost to serve and one-off savings arising from content secured on more favourable terms,” she said in a statement.

For the six months period, net profit increased by 35% to RM442.17 million RM327.60 million due mainly to an increase in ebitda, decrease in depreciation of property, plant and equipment and drop in net finance costs.

Revenue for the current period of RM2.75 billion was lower by 1.6% against the previous corresponding period’s RM2.79 billion, due mostly to a decrease in subscription and licensing revenue.

The group said H1FY18 revenue was lower primarily due to the end of a one-off sports channel sub-licensing, marginally lower contribution from subscriptions and e-commerce. This was partially mitigated by higher contribution from adex, NJOI and production revenue.

"Going forward, the company expects revenue growth in the immediate term to be underpinned by e-commerce, adex, production revenues and NJOI."

The board declared a second interim dividend of 3 sen per share.

Astro’s share price closed 1.87% lower at RM2.63 yesterday with 818,200 shares traded.