Aggregation Strategy Gains Momentum
Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad | Result highlights for the first half of the financial year ending 31 January 2022 (H1FY22)
- Revenue steady at RM2.12bn
- PATAMI +10% y-o-y to RM228mn
- Adex +22% y-o-y to RM209mn
- Second interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share
Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Astro’s H1FY22 results remained resilient amid prolonged lockdown. Astro continued to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. The Board has declared a second interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share.”
Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “Although Astro recorded a 10% growth in H1FY22 PATAMI, the continuing lockdown and elevated content cost arising from Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and UEFA EURO 2020™️ impacted our Q2FY22 PATAMI. However, we are pushing ahead with our transformation plan and our ambition to be the #1 aggregator of the best streaming services.”
“Today we have one million connected boxes, of which over 400k are on the Ultra and Ulti Boxes, including the recently launched self-install Ultra Plug & Play Box that runs solely on broadband. These homes are enjoying the new experience of On Demand, Cloud Recording, Play from Start and will soon be able to enjoy content from streaming services on their box. Astro GO, enhanced with Interactive Mode for live sports viewing, has 1.6mn monthly active users with an average weekly viewing time of 230 minutes, while On Demand videos streamed grew 205% to 233mn. In H1FY22, our broadband base grew 89% y-o-y as more customers bundled broadband with their content packages for greater convenience and value. Soon we will be providing more options to further strengthen our broadband and digital offerings.”
- Growing Streaming Services: TVBAnywhere+ app is the latest to join Astro’s growing family of streaming services. Astro Dynasty Pack customers can now enjoy free Premium Service access on TVBAnywhere+ app with over 40k hours of the biggest Cantonese entertainment. Coming next is Netflix, which will be integrated with the Ultra and Ulti Boxes. Our own streaming service for millennials, sooka emerged as the #1 Entertainment App on Google Play within 2 weeks of launch. It achieved over 428k app downloads and garnered more than 525k users.
- Biggest Linear Channels Refresh: Astro recently introduced new movie channels (HBO Family, HBO Hits, and SHOWCASE MOVIES) and general entertainment channels (BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, Paramount Network, Lifetime and PRIMEtime). On 1 Oct 2021, new Sports channels (Astro Arena 2, Astro SuperSport 5 and SPOTV) that feature key sporting events like WWE, BWF, UFC, Formula 1, MotoGP, Wimbledon and US Open will be added, followed by BBC First and BBC Brit on demand in mid October. These new offerings are timely, given Disney’s decision to discontinue its linear FOX channels in the region as part of its strategy to push streaming. Astro customers who have activated their Disney+ Hotstar app will be able to continue to enjoy most of the content from the FOX channels on the app.
- Thanking customers with Astro 25 on Channel 100: This channel was specially curated with the best of Malaysian and Asian entertainment, premiering documentaries like Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Kita and blockbuster hits. On 25 September, customers can enjoy the exciting live virtual Astro 25 concert, featuring a star-studded line-up of over 50 international, Korean and local artistes.
- Our Own Content Growing From Strength to Strength:
- #1 drama, Rindu Awak Separuh Nyawa (2.5mn TV Viewership and 1.7mn OD views)
- Love Elsa (1.2mn TV Viewership and 597k OD views)
- Sepahtu Reunion Live 2021 (1.1mn TV Viewership and 79k OD views)
- Astro First, the destination for local films saw its revenue jumped 31% y-o-y to RM20.7mn.
- Sports Viewership Hits New Record: Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 saw an unprecedented reach of 10.7mn across sports channels; while UEFA EURO 2020™️ garnered a reach of 8.9mn.
- ADEX and Enterprise Recovery Dampened By Lockdown: While Adex grew 22% y-o-y to RM209mn in H1FY22 and outperformed the advertising industry growth of 11%, Q2FY22 Adex declined by 9% q-o-q. Radex, TV Adex and Digital Adex share stood at 77%, 36% and 3% respectively. Astro Radio brands continued to rank No.1 across all languages, reaching 16.8mn weekly radio listeners (FM and digital), while Astro digital brands registered over 14.3mn monthly unique visitors.
- Go Shop Serves More Online Shoppers: Registered customers rose 19% y-o-y to 3.0mn. However, revenue moderated to RM221mn on the back of soft consumer sentiment and supply disruption in the second quarter of 2021 due to lockdowns.
- Positive ESG Impact: Astro remains steadfast in its commitment and dedication to be the nation’s agent for positivity and voice for good through numerous environmental, social and governance initiatives:
1. #KitaTeguhBersama Campaign
- Supported the National Blood Bank’s blood donation drive and the COVID-19 Immunisation drive with Public Service Announcements
- Volunteered at Vaccination Centres
- Offered TVs and Astro services at quarantine centres nationwide
- Contributed medical equipment to hospitals and laptops to students from B40 groups
- Worked with Food Aid Foundation and MakanKongsi2.0 to provide food packs to B40 families
- Produced content to promote unity and patriotism such as Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Kita and We Are No Different
- Supported SMEs with business related content and advertising incentives via #KamiCares campaign
2. Championed education through increased educational content on Tutor TV, TVIQ and TV Pendidikan to facilitate and supplement children’s learning nationwide
3. Offered complimentary viewing of selected channels during the various lockdown
4. Amplified positivity across TV, radio and digital with over 7,700 hours of community announcements aired to date in FY22
5. Advocated for anti-corruption with Rasuah Busters, helped to discredit fake news and campaigned against content piracy
6. Promoted and supported environmental initiatives by NGOs such as Greenpeace, WWF and Climate Governance
Tan continued, “Astro turns 25 this year and we are revitalising our brand, powering ahead in our transformation journey that encompasses
- our ambition to be Malaysia’s #1 aggregator of the best streaming services,
- enhancing local content by producing more premium Astro Originals,
- seizing opportunities for adjacencies in commerce, broadband and digital, and
- realisation of our reimagined business models and technology with the evolving ecosystem.”
Significant near term challenges remain as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. The prolonged pandemic will impact the Malaysian economy, commercial enterprises and the consumer wallet with consequential effects for Astro’s revenue, particularly in the areas of advertising, enterprise and residential subscription revenues.
However, the rollout of the nationwide vaccination programme and subsequent relaxation of restrictions is paving the way for economic recovery. Given these uncertainties, the Group will continue to monitor and assess business conditions, whilst prudently managing costs to ensure sustainable operations and business performance.