Astro sees 59% jump in adex amidst pandemic-ridden year

Astro Malaysia witnessed a 59% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) adex increase to RM127 million for the third quarter of its financial year ended 31 January 2021 (Q3 2021), as a result of less restrictions and the restart of key signatures. The share of radex, TV adex and digital adex stood at 79%, 39% and 3% respectively.

Overall, the company witnessed a 2% QoQ increase in revenue to RM1.11 billion and a 23% jump in profit after tax and minority interests to RM165 million. Meanwhile, its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation increased 8% QoQ to RM 402 million.

Astro's TV viewership share also grew to 73% and while the number of monthly unique visitors for SYOK, its multilingual entertainment and lifestyle platform, grew by 9% QoQ to 377,000. The number of monthly active users on Astro GO rose 78% YoY to 1.7 million, driven primarily by live sports and vernacular content. NJOI prepaid revenue increased by 7% QoQ as the company expanded content packs and distribution. Its Astro Ultra Box currently serves 160,000 homes and is said to be key in driving broadband installations, both growing in tandem at 60% QoQ.

Meanwhile Astro's radio brands reached 15.7 milion weekly visitors, with 3.6 million monthly digital radio users during the period. Its digital brands such as Astro AWANI, Gempak, Xuan and Astro Ulagam registered a total monthly unique visitors of 13.4 million. Go Shop also witnessed a 31% YoY revenue increase to RM351 million and its registered customers increased 30% YoY to 2.7 million. According to Astro, digital now accounts for over 50% of its total sales.

According to Astro, local and vernacular content including Gegar Vaganza, Big Stage and Bidadari Kiriman Tuhan were well received with a viewership of 3 million, 2.4 million and 1.9 million respectively. Astro expects this trend to continue as it has a strong line up of key content in December, including its Astro Original series, Wayang Didi & Friends, and Anugerah MeleTOP ERA.

Group CEO of Astro, Henry Tan (pictured), said the group remains cautious of the potential impact of the recently reimposed CMCO, which may be extended. "Amidst structural changes in the media industry and ongoing acts of piracy, further extensions of CMCO may impact advertising and commercial revenue," he added.

He also said that the group's agility in adapting to the new normal has allowed it to deepn its engagement with its customers, strengthen its value proposition and seize opportunities for adjacencies in commerce, broadband, digital and OTT.

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