Expanded customer base, value-added products and services raise ARPU
‘Clear targets’ to address the 80% of Malaysians who own smart mobile devices
ASTRO Malaysia Holdings Bhd said its revenue grew by 9% year-on-year to RM5.2 billion (US$1.4 billion) in its 2015 financial year (FY15) ended Jan 31, 2015.
In the same period, EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) improved by 12% to RM1.8 billion (US$490 million) and PATAMI (Profit After Tax And Minority Interest) increased by 16% to RM519 million (US$141 million), it said in a statement.
Astro said its financial performance was underpinned by an expansion in its customer base, while sales of value-added products and services also increased ARPU (average revenue per user), and cost control measures improved profitability.
The performance of Go Shop, its new home shopping service, was also encouraging, the company added. The service, available on multiple Astro platforms, has sold over 120,000 items since its soft launch in November 2014.
Astro chief executive officer Rohana Rozhan said the company has set clear targets to address the 80% of Malaysians who own smart mobile devices.
“AOTG (Astro On The Go) downloads have increased by 60% to 1.4 million in FY15, while weekly viewing time rose 35% to 96 minutes.
“We plan to introduce more features to enable users to download their favourite shows onto their devices, thus complementing the live streaming of news, sports and events.
“We will also continue to drive the take-up of connected boxes and [the use] of PVRs (personal video recorders).
“Our efforts across all of these areas have seen Astro's digital traffic increase more than twofold last year, with especially strong performance on mobile web usage, where Astro’s digital properties emerged as the top Malaysian online destination for mobile users in the Comscore Mobile ranking dated January 2015,” she added.
Rohana said Astro was able to generate growth in FY15 despite a “soft consumer market,” and grew its television and radio adex shares to sustain its total advertising income at RM589 million (US$160 million) in FY15.
Its customer base grew by 547,000 to 4.4 million, representing a 63% penetration of total Malaysian TV households (FY14: 56%). ARPU also rose to RM99 from RM96, as more customers subscribed to value-added services. [RM1 = US$0.27]
In FY15, Astro launched 12 new channels, increasing the total to 184, of which 50 are in HD (high definition).
Astro chairman Zaki Azmi said the board is declaring a fourth interim dividend of 2.25 sen per share, and subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming annual general meeting, a final dividend of two sen per share.
“This brings the total dividend in FY15 to 11.0 sen per share, a 22% increase over the FY14 payout,” he added.
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