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Astro Reports 1H FY16 Financials

KUALA LUMPUR - Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (Astro) announced today its first six months results of the financial year ending 31 January 2016, with a 4% y-o-y growth in revenue to RM2.7bn, a 7% rise in EBITDA to RM962mn, a 15% increase in PATAMI to RM306mn; leading to Free Cash Flow (FCF) generation of RM589mn.

Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro said, “Amidst a challenging operating environment coupled with soft consumer sentiment, the Group continues to deliver on its growth strategies to generate shareholder value creation. On that note, the Board is pleased to declare a second interim dividend of 2.75 sen per share, 22% higher compared to the same period last year.”

Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Chief Executive Officer of Astro said, “We are committed to provide greater choice and value to our customers through better content, products, services and experiences across our platforms. We added 426k net TV customers in H1FY16, underpinned by strong take-up of NJOI (+58% y-o-y to 1,071k). This has increased our Malaysian TV households’ penetration rate to 65% in H1FY16. (H1FY15: 60%).”

“We are driving take up of connected boxes and of Astro on the Go from 181k now to 500k by year end. At the same time, we are ensuring our content proposition is second to none. As for our international content, we are ensuring that linear viewing is supplemented by strong on-demand proposition of same day as global premieres, live, social and box sets to cater for our customers viewing trends.

“We have launched a new download feature for Astro on the Go, where programmes can be downloaded on mobile devices for offline viewing. Astro on the Go downloads has increased by 31% y-o-y to 1.6mn with weekly viewing time exceeding 140 minutes.”

“Advertising income registered a 5% growth to RM305mn, supported by higher TV viewership, radio listenership and growing interest in digital. Astro’s share of TV Adex and Radex increased to 35% and 61% respectively. Greater utilisation of analytics and close collaboration with our key advertisers and media buyers has also contributed to growth in our share of Adex. Go Shop, our e-commerce venture, achieved encouraging results with revenue of RM75mn H1FY16. Also, customers can look forward to a Chinese language Go Shop channel in Q4FY16.”

Dato’ Rohana added, “We are harnessing our customer reach across our traditional and digital media assets to provide a more engaging, socially interactive and immersive experience. For example, our popular award show, ‘Anugerah MeleTOP Era 2015’, delivered a 360° experience across all platforms, including TV, radio, digital and on-ground, engaging 1.9mn viewers.”

Astro has launched 7 new channels namely HGTV HD, Nat Geo People HD, Star Chinese Channel and 4 dedicated a la carte sports channels - WWE Network, Setanta Sports HD, Astro Cricket HD and Golf HD channels. For the first time, Astro broadcast The International 2015 Dota 2 Championship live on Astro TV and Astro on the Go, which was well-received with a cumulative viewership of 1.5mn.

In conclusion Dato’ Rohana said, “Our commitment to top line growth is matched by our commitment to remain active managers of our costs. Our content forex exposure for the year, and into the first quarter next year is fully hedged, giving us time to evaluate and put in place measures to manage the impact of prevailing rates. Our priority is to ensure an optimal cost base to provide the best value for our customers. Astro aims to achieve sustainable growth in a challenging environment by growing our subscriber base, share of advertising and e-commerce. Underpinned by strong execution and cash generation, we are committed to deliver on our dividend policy.”

Source: Astro Malaysia Holdings