Result highlights for the financial year ended 31 January 2020 (FY20)Tun Zaki Azmi, Chairman of Astro, said: “Despite headwinds in the global economic environment and a challenging media landscape in FY20, Astro continues to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has decided to take a prudent approach by moderating a fourth interim dividend to 1.5 sen per share.

Total dividend declared in FY20 amounts to 7.5 sen, equating to a 60% dividend payout ratio. This represents a departure from Astro’s dividend policy of paying out at least 75% of consolidated profits. Given the current heightened uncertainty, the Board believes this to be the best course of action to conserve liquidity and strengthen the Group’s balance sheet.”

Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro said: “Our financial results remain resilient amid a challenging operating environment and the threat of piracy. We achieved PATAMI growth by optimising cost and strengthening our position as the entertainment destination and gateway to Malaysian homes through our Pay-TV, NJOI, Commerce and Broadband propositions. The Ultra Box, Astro’s latest 4K UHD decoder with cloud recording is well-received with over 45,000 orders since launch.”

“Our stable financials enable us to pivot our business to capture new digital opportunities in OTT video streaming, radio and commerce. With 3 exclusive streaming services - Astro GO, HBO GO and iQIYI, we have the largest customer base for video streaming services in Malaysia, with over 2.6mn registered users.”

Key Operational Highlights:Key Initiatives:
Outlook

Globally, businesses are facing unprecedented social and economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Henry said, “As a broadcaster, Astro is categorised by the government as an essential service provider. While we continue to broadcast as usual during the Movement Control Order, we have also activated our business continuity plans and ensured the safety of our employees. Our teams are currently split across different sites with significant majority working from home. We at Astro are doing our part to keep Malaysians informed and entertained through these trying times.”

Astro remains focused on strengthening its customer value proposition and loyalty, while pursuing deeper cost optimisation and stronger anti-piracy push. At the same time Astro will leverage on its customer base to build new revenue adjacencies in commerce, broadband, digital and OTT.