Astro sees profits and streaming use jump, but COVID risks remain

Malaysian pay TV operator Astro saw its profit after tax and minority interests jump by 91% in its fiscal first quarter, despite flat year-on-year revenues.

Astro recently launched the Ulti Box to expand its connected home footprint

The operator turned in profits of MYR141 million (€28.5 million) on revenues of MYR10.6 billion for the three months to April.

Advertising expenditure was up by 21% to MYR109 million despite the impact of the pandemic.

Astro has seen strong growth in streaming and in the use of its advanced set-top., with the Astro Go service now registering 1.4 million monthly users and on-demand consumption tripling year-on-year. Astro’s bundling strategy has also born fruit, with an 80% lift in broadband customers year-on-year.

The operator launched a new streaming offering targeting millennials over the period. Sooka provides a free tier and a subscription offering combining sports, local entertainment and exclusive originals.

Advertising growth outperformed the local market, which grew by 9%, according to Astro. The company attributed growth to its originals strategy but warned that renewed lockdowns would dampen growth, as a new wave of COVID-19 hits south-east Asia.

“FY22 promises to be an action- packed year. We continue to execute on our strategy and in June, we introduced 2 new streaming services: sooka featuring live sports and winning local content for millennials and Disney+ Hotstar with amazing content at an incredible value. Customers can look forward to more exciting additions as we push ahead with our ambition to be Malaysia’s #1 aggregator of the best streaming services,” said CEO Henry Tan.

“Our Ultra and Ulti Box, already in over 300k homes are giving customers a new viewing experience. Astro GO, enhanced with ‘pre-access’ and ‘download’ features, has 1.4mn monthly active users with an average weekly viewing time of 213 minutes, while On Demand videos streamed tripled to 100mn. Our broadband base grew around 80% y-o-y, as more customers bundled broadband with their content packages for convenience and value.”

Read Next