Astro’s 1Q net profit up 31%, pays 2.75 sen dividend



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KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd saw its net profit jump 31.1% to RM168.3 million or 3.23 sen per share for the first financial quarter ended April 30, 2015 (1QFY16), from RM128.33 million or 2.47 sen per share a year ago, due primarily to the higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), and lower depreciation expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the country’s leading pay-TV operator attributed the improved net profit for 1QFY16 to the increase in Ebitda of RM31.3 million, decrease in depreciation of set-top boxes of RM22.3 million, amortisation of software of RM4.4 million and decrease in net finance costs of RM7 million, offset by the increase in tax expenses of RM24.4 million.

Revenue grew 6.1% to RM1.33 billion from RM1.25 billion for 1QFY15, mainly due to the increase in subscription, advertising and other revenues of RM33.4 million, RM14 million and RM28.8 million, respectively.

The group also declared a first interim dividend of 2.75 sen per share for FY16, payable on July 15.

Astro (fundamental: 1.1; valuation: 2.1) also noted that its Ebitda margin increased 0.3% from 1QFY15, mainly due to the lower installation costs and lower selling and distribution expenses as a percentage of revenue.

However, the increase was offset by the higher costs of merchandise sales and impairments of other investments.

Going forward, Astro said it is increasing its investment in high-quality original programming, including making it available on the cloud for Astro on the Go.

Shares in Astro closed 0.67% higher at RM3.01 yesterday, with a market capitalisation of RM15.55 billion.

The Edge Research’s fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 17, 2015.