Asiasat 7 launch in Q4

MUMBAI: Asiasat has said that the launch of Asiasat 7 is on schedule for the fourth quarter launch. This new addition to the fleet has been planned to eventually replace Asiasat 3S.

The company has also said that the Asiasat Tai Po Earth Station expansion project is to be completed in early 2012.
Meanwhile, the Asian satellite operator has posted a 16 per cent jump in turnover to HK$801.86 million for the first six months ended June 2011.

Profit attributable to shareholders was up 20 per cent to HK$367.38 million.

Asiasat chairman Sherwood P. Dodge said, "In general buoyant Asian economies and our strong performance as the market leader during the first half of 2011 have positioned us well for the opportunities we expect to see in the second half of 2011. These positive market trends, along with our strong financial fundamentals, position us to continue to grow the company’s business, and we remain alert to opportunities to improve our competitive position through partnerships and acquisitions."

Operating expenses in the first half of 2011, excluding depreciation, totaled HK$175 million, representing an increase of five per cent compared with the first half of 2010. This was mainly the result of incremental staff costs arising from headcount growth and was partially mitigated by savings in satellite insurance and savings in mainland China business tax.

Profit attributable to equity holders for the first half of 2011 was HK$367 million, an increase of 20 per cent, achieved mainly as a result of strong revenue growth, greater interest income and careful management of costs during the period.

For the six months to 30 June, the group generated a net cash inflow of HK$97 million, after capital expenditure of HK$267 million and dividends of HK$176 million.

The group’s total number of transponders leased or sold as of 30 June 2011 was 105 (31 December 2010, it was 97). This figure includes the six Hong Kong Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) transponders that serve the direct-to-home (DTH) joint venture.

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