KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's Henry Tan Poh Hock will be retiring as its group chief executive officer on Jan 31, 2023.
Tan, who joined the Astro group in 2008, will continue as adviser to strengthen Astro's content pipeline to serve the group's businesses and platforms, it said in a filing on Monday (Sept 26).
For its succession plan, the satellite television operator appointed its current group chief operating officer Euan Daryl Smith as group CEO designate with immediate effect.
Smith will assume the role of group CEO on Feb 1, 2023, Astro said.
"Euan joined Astro as group COO and CEO, pay TV in 2020, and brought with him immense pay TV experience, having held senior leadership roles in Sky UK and Fox US," it said.
"He was a key member of the team that engineered Sky Germany's successful turnaround and was instrumental in helping Foxtel Australia move into the streaming era," Astro said.
In a statement thanking Tan's contributions, Astro chairman Tunku Ali Redhauddin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz said that Tan is an advocate of local content and is "best known for transforming local movies into box office sensations".
The outgoing group CEO also helped build a vault of valuable content and original intellectual property "which is central to Astro's core", Tunku Ali Redhauddin said.
In a separate statement, Astro posted a 13% increase in net profit for the second quarter ended July 31, 2022 (2QFY23) to RM98.47 million, from RM87.13 million posted a year ago.
This was mainly due to the lower net financing and depreciation costs, it said. Earnings per share rose to 1.86 sen, from 1.67 sen in 2QFY22.
It declared a second interim single-tier dividend of one sen per share, to be paid on Oct 25.
The better net profit came despite a 13% decline in quarterly revenue to RM921.12 million from RM1.06 billion, amid lower merchandise sales, subscription revenue, sales of programming rights, and advertising revenue.
For the cumulative six months ended July 31, 2022, Astro's net profit fell 13% to RM198.48 million or 3.81 sen per share, from RM228.37 million or 4.38 sen per share a year ago. Revenue slipped 11.24% to RM1.88 billion, from RM2.12 billion.
On prospects, Astro maintains a cautious outlook and will continue to monitor business conditions as it continues investing in its transformation plan. New offerings such as Astro Fibre and addressable advertising are gaining traction, and are expected to grow for the rest of the year, it said.
This is while it manages costs due to macroeconomic conditions including rising interest rates, inflation, and strengthening US dollar.
Astro's share price closed 0.6% or half a sen lower at 83 sen on Monday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM4.3 billion. Year-to-date, the counter is down 12.63%.