Malaysia's Astro weak Q4 drags down FY2013

Despite booking higher revenue, the satellite TV provider's saw high operating expenses over the last year due to its "reinvestment period".
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor on

Malaysian satellite TV provider Astro reported a profit of 420 million ringgit (US$134.9 million) for its financial year of 2013 during which it saw 418,000 new subscribers.

Malaysian satellite TV provider Astro has a household penetration rate of 52 percent.

In a statement Thursday announcing its financial results for the year ended January 31, 2013, Astro said it saw a 10 percent growth in revenue which reached 4.3 billion ringgit (US$1.4 billion).

Rohana Rozhan, CEO of Astro, said the growth in revenue was contributed by "new customers and good take-up of value added products and services such as HD, Personal Video Recording, Multi-room, On Demand and Superpack, which has contributed to the average revenue per user growth of 5 percent from 89 ringgit (US$28.60) to 93 ringgit (US$29.90).”

However, the company's profit after tax dropped to 420 million ringgit (US$134.9 million) for the financial year 2013, from 630 million ringgit (US$202.3 million) in the previous year.  

Malaysian daily The Sun Daily reported that Astro's net profit dropped in the quarter ended January 31, 2013, mainly due to a reduction in interest income of 41.4 million ringgit (US$13.3 million) and a higher depreciation of 57.5 million ringgit (US$18.5 million).

At a earnings briefing, Rozhan noted the company was in a reinvestment period until FY2014. She highlighted
operating expenditure rose 21 percent to 3.5 billion ringgit in FY2013 from 2.9 billion in FY2012. Content cost also rose, marginally from 32 percent to 33 percent during the same period.

Astro said its subscriber base increased to 3.5 million during the year as it welcomed 209,000 new subscribers for its pay TV service and 209,000 subscribers for its free satellite TV service. This brought Astro's household penetration to 52 percent.

The company ventured into mobile TV when it launched Astro On-The-Go on March 3, 2013. Rohana said, "With Astro On-The-Go, we are now bringing Astro services to customers and non-customers in Malaysia, as well as the introduction of the service beyond Malaysia, expanding our footprint beyond our traditional customers of households to individuals in Malaysia and abroad."

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