Thursday, March 23, 2006

Malaysia: ASTRO Profit +57%

ASTRO All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia's largest pay-TV operator, has just reported a 57% jump in annual net profit to RM228.8mil from RM145.4mil a year ago on revenue of RM2billion for the financial year ended Jan 31, 2006 (FY06). 1US$=MYR 3.68

Group CEO Ralph Marshall said: “The fundamentals of the business are sound and we expect continuing strong demand for our services in FY2007.

“We will be able to offer a substantially improved service following resolution of the CRM issues, and on receipt of new transponder capacity, some time in the latter part of the year.

“In the meantime, we will incur additional programming and operating costs with no significant revenue contribution.

“We continue to develop a number of content initiatives in Indonesia, India and China that will allow us to leverage on our broadcast experience and distribution infrastructure,’’

Highlights -

- Astro attributed the higher net profit to savings in costs.

- Residential subscriber churn was up. Net additions falling 22.9 per cent to 218,400. Overall ASTRO improved the subscriber base by 35,900 during the year.

- Astro expects a difficult year ahead for its multi channel TV operations, with slower growth in revenue and earnings.

- The slow commissioning of the Measat-3 satellite will further put a strain on revenues.

- Astro's Indonesia services started on February 28 with related start up loses reflected in the group's FY07 earnings.

- Radio division revenue growth up 15 per cent. More expected, from new station operations.

- The MC-TV segment recorded total revenue of RM1.79bil in FY06, up 16.8 per cent.

- Library licensing and distribution generated revenue of RM60.1 million up 26.3 per cent growth, during the year under review.

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