KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the financial year ended Jan 31, 2023 tumbled 43.79% to RM259.04 million from RM460.88 million in the previous year after it posted lower earnings in the fourth quarter (Q4 FY2023).
Revenue for the year under review fell 9.1% to RM3.8 billion from RM4.18 billion.
For the fourth quarter ended Jan 31, 2023, its net profit was down 56.75% to RM54.75 million from RM126.59 million recorded previously, while revenue for the period slipped 3.9% to RM990.67 million from RM1.03 billion a year before.
“Decline in the revenue for the quarter was mainly (due to) the decrease in subscription, advertising revenues and merchandise sales, which were offset by an increase in sales of programming rights,” Astro said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
However, amid the macro and industry challenges, Astro recognised a non-cash impairment of RM763 million in Q4 in respect of its historical cost of investments in subsidiaries.
The group said this impairment was an “accounting adjustment” and had no impact on its consolidated profit after taxation and minority interests, nor any bearing on its current or future cash position.
No dividend in Q4 because of impairment
Given the non-cash impairment, Astro said no interim or final dividends will be paid this quarter. The dividend declared for FY2023 amounts to three sen per share, equating to a 60% payout ratio.
On the outlook for FY2024, it said macroeconomic headwinds including slowing global growth, comparatively higher interest rates, and moderate but elevated levels of inflation are expected to continue impacting households and businesses.
“The group maintains a cautious outlook and will monitor business conditions, while prudently managing costs,” it said in a press statement today.
“FY2024 will see Astro continuing to invest in its transformation for long-term and sustainable growth, focusing on content, broadband, streaming, addressable advertising, customer experience, data and technology to better serve customers,” it added.
Astro of the future
Astro group CEO Euan Smith said Astro’s transformation plans have continued apace this year as the group continues to put in place the structures and architecture that will define the “Astro of the future”.
“We are starting to see the benefits from the investments in content, product, connectivity, advertising, and customer service, moving the company aggressively into the new streaming, on-demand era,” he said in the statement.
Smith added customers are streaming more than ever on the Ultra and Ulti boxes, as well as on Astro GO, with its on-demand shows streamed rising 25% year-on-year to 660 million.
Astro’s total advertising expenditure (adex) rose 14% quarter-on-quarter to RM126 million, with year-end festivities and the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 driving strong performance across all TV, radio and digital platforms.
Radio, TV, and digital adex stood at 73%, 34%, and 2%, respectively.