Eutelsat FY net quadruplues to $230 million

MUMBAI: Global satellite operator Eutelsat has posted a net profit of $230 million during the 12 months ending June, jumping over four times from $54 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 4.8 per cent to $1.11 billion from $1.06 billion year-on-year.

Eutelsat said the growth in revenue was driven by a strong momentum in video applications.

There was an improvement in profitability with an EBITDA margin at 78.7 per cent, maintained at the highest level among leading fixed satellite service operators.


Eutelsat chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta said, "This new year of growth confirms the strong momentum of our markets and the effectiveness of our strategy which combines the development of our in-orbit resources, positioning in the most profitable applications of the Fixed Satellite Services sector, and innovation.

"With the launches of our Hot Bird 7A and Hot Bird 8 satellites we have substantially renewed capacity at our premium video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East and opened three new orbital positions by redeploying in-orbit satellites. The opening of the 9 degrees East position, which can be combined with the Hot Bird neighbourhood for television channel reception with a single antenna, brings the Group important potential for development in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

"As a result of the priority allocation of additional resources to video applications in order to support the strong dynamic of digital broadcasting, we have been able to increase the share of video in our business portfolio to over 72 per cent, thereby reinforcing strong visibility on revenues.

"In parallel we have continued to develop our portfolio of value added services on internet markets, with a strong focus on addressing corporate and local administrations and have launched new broadband access solutions for the specific markets of business aviation and rail transport.

"Encouraged by this year?s excellent performance, by our privileged position in emerging markets and by prospects for growth presented by high-definition television and mobile services, we are confident in our ability to pursue earnings growth over the long-term. Our revenue target for 2007/2008 is between $1.15 billion and $1.16 billion and we have revised upwards our EBITDA margin objective to above 77.5 per cent."

The firm says that its in-orbit resources were strengthened and optimised with 43 additional operating transponders and opening of three new orbital positions. Video applications showed an increase of $83 million to $797 million. There was a 23 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of channels broadcast across Eutelsat?s fleet. In European Union countries served by the Hot Bird and Eurobird 1 premium video neighbourhoods, channels increased by 13 per cent.

At the end of the fiscal year, the group?s Hot Bird neighbourhood, which was strengthened in October 2006 by the entry into service of Hot Bird 8, was broadcasting 1,097 channels to 121 million cable and satellite homes in extended Europe, of which close to 48 million homes are equipped for Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception.

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