“PETALING JAYAL Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd saw a 21.1% drop in net profit for its second quarter ended July 31 to RM133.65 million, from RM169.34 million a year before, in line with the 1.3% drop in its Ebitda margin during the quarter mainly due to higher merchandise costs, mitigated by lower content costs and impairment of receivables.
Revenue was also 11.8% lower at RM1.09 billion, from RM1.24 billion previously, mainly arising from a decrease in subscription and advertising revenues which were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A higher dividend of 1.5 sen was declared for the quarter, compared with 1 sen in Q1’21.
For the half year period, Astro’s net profit stood at RM207.49 million on a revenue of RM2.14 billion, from RM345.53 million and RM2.47 billion respectively, during the same period a year before.
Chairman Tun Zaki Azmi said the group’s balance sheet remained strong as it continued to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management.
CEO Henry Tan added that the group had delayed several initiatives during the movement control order (MCO) period and its subsequent iterations, including upselling, installations and production of live reality shows.
“The Q2’21 results included the full effect of the one-off Sports Pack rebate given to our loyal sports customers. We believed this was the right thing to do - providing access to other content and compensating for the absence of live sports.”
However, he pointed out that group operations are now close to full capacity, with the resumption of installations.
“We see the Astro Ultra Box continuing its growth trajectory, with over 100k boxes installed, up 60% over 3 months. Customers payment trend is also encouraging, and local productions, global live sports and onground events are resuming,” he said.
That said, Tan noted that Astro remains cautious in the second half of FY21 due to prevailing uncertainties amid the pandemic, structural changes in the media industry and the ongoing acts of piracy.
“We are mindful of the potential impact on consumers’ disposable income and sentiments when the loan moratorium ends. We will continue to support our commercial customers, who are still affected by the ongoing recovery MCO.
“We are committed to be the entertainment destination for Malaysians and will drive digital, aggregate more streaming OTT services, push broadband bundles, produce more winning and compelling content whilst simplifying our products, packages and processes,” he added.