Television

Panamsat successfully completes turnaround year

CONNECTICUT: PanAmSat, the premier provider of global video and data broadcasting services via satellite has reported revenues of $812.3 million for the year ended 31 December 2002. 

The company has posted earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $591.6 million, free cash flow of $460.9 million and earnings per share (EPS) of $0.57 which was a nearly three-fold increase over last year.

For the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2002, the company generated revenues of $196.8 million, EBITDA of $144.4 million and earnings per share of $0.16.

Business highlights for the year included:

- Completion of a turnaround beginning in mid-2001 resulting in an increase in EBITDA and EPS last year despite lower revenues, a 24 per cent reduction in operating costs, a 13 per cent reduction in capital expenditures and a 37 per cent increase in free cash flow to $460.9 million;

- Completion of a $2 billion, seven-satellite fleet modernisation programme resulting in one of the industry’s youngest and most modern fleets;

- Formation of one of the sector’s most powerful and far-reaching satellite networks through expanded relationships with British Telecom, JSAT and others; and creation of one of the industry’s strongest customer portfolios with an end-of-year backlog of $5.55 billion by focusing on partnering with customers to expand products and service offerings.

Panamsat CEO Joe Wright has said that in 2003, the company's focus will be on continued profitability and growth. "Our growth strategy will not rely on one transaction or the launch of a new satellite or technology. We are coming at it from many angles. Part one - consolidation. Clearly, consolidation is occurring in this industry and PanAmSat is looking at these opportunities. Part two - service expansion. In 2003, PanAmSat will expand its efforts in areas such as Government Services, Digital Services and Hybrid Networks.

Part three - technology development. We’ll be introducing new ways of transmitting content seamlessly across our network, while also increasing our exploration of emerging technologies such as video-on-demand, HDTV, the integration of fiber/satellite/wireless technologies and broadband over satellite. These and many other initiatives will enable the delivery of even greater services to our customers and even more value to our shareholders over the long-term, " he said.

The company expects total revenues for the first quarter of 2003 to be in the range of $190 million to $200 million, with no new sales or sales-type leases. The company expects that 2003 total revenues will be in the range of $790 million to $820 million, with no new sales or sales-type leases.

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