FSS industry revenues decline in 2002: Euroconsult

LONDON: The consolidated revenues for fixed satellite services (FSS) companies in 2002 has actually dropped, says Euroconsult's latest analysis.

In the 10th edition of its World Satellite Communications and Broadcasting market survey, Euroconsult found that the consolidated revenues for FSS operators fell by six per cent to $6.3 billion in 2002. Despite the decline in revenues, the FSS industry remained a profitable business in 2002, with average industry margins of about 73 per cent for EBITDA, 38 per cent for operating profit (EBIT), and 24 percent for net profit, Euroconsult said.

The analysis says that the FSS industry experienced two consecutive years of decline (a three percent fall was recorded in 2001) for the first time in its history. The revenue drops were attributed to stagnant transponder demand and decreasing transponder lease prices.

After more than 20 years of growth, transponder demand decreased by 0.9 per cent in 2001, and grew only slightly (2.5 per cent) in 2002, Euroconsult said.

Broadcasters, telcos, and ISPs - the main users of satellite services - have been hurt by the economic downturn of the past two years, the firm said.

During that time, the most established transponder markets - video and telephony - experienced a lull while Internet trunking continued to grow.

And there's significant growth potential for transponder demand.

In the next 10 years, growth should be driven by TV/video and by Internet services, both for trunking and direct access, Euroconsult said.

By 2012, transponder demand should reach 7,791 units, of which 52 per cent will be for TV and video, 26 per cent for Internet and the remaining 22 per cent for voice and data traffic.

Growth in satellite TV should boost demand for Ku-Band transponders, the firm said. The number of transponders leased in Ku-Band may grow to 4,593 transponders by 2012, from 2,685 in 2002. The Ku-Band market share should grow from 52 per cent in 2002 to 59 per cent in 2012.

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