Asian Pay Television Trust sees flat Q2 DPU of 1.625 cents, warns of lower 2019 DPU

SINGAPORE - Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT) reported second-quarter interim distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.625 cents for the period ended June 30, 2018, unchanged from the year-ago period.

The trust, focused on the pay-TV business, reported Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of $46.27 million for the second fiscal quarter, down 7.4 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago due to "challenging operating and economic conditions" in Taiwan, its key market. It clocked revenue of of $77.57 million, down 6.6 per cent.

In constant Taiwan dollar (NT$) terms, total revenue for the reporting quarter and half year was down 4.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively than the prior corresponding period.

Foreign exchange contributed to a negative variance of 2.5 per cent for the quarter, and 1.8 per cent for the half year compared to the year-ago period.

Equity attributable to APTT's unitholders inched downwards to $1.14 billion from $1.19 billion a year ago.

The business will continue to be driven by the broadband segment, noted chief executive Brian McKinley in a media statement, adding it has shown "reasonable progress" with growing revenue generating units and revenue in New Taiwan dollar terms, compared to the previous year.

"To navigate the competitive environment, we will continue to monitor market dynamics and enhance our service offerings. Our key investment in 2018 and 2019 is to deploy fibre deeper into the network. We believe this strategy will enable us to retain and attract more subscribers who are increasingly looking for higher broadband speeds at competitive prices to meet their growing demand for data.

"Overall, we expect our Ebitda for the second half of the year to improve, but on a full year basis, 2018 Ebitda may be lower than 2017," Mr McKinley cautioned.

The group also noted that DPU in 2019 is "likely to be lowered" in the midst a challenging environment, which includes the impact of competition in the wireless broadband market.

APTT's counter was down 2.35 per cent, or $0.01, to $0.41 as at 10.04am on Monday.