Television

Panamsat reports Q3 financial result; marginally higher than last year

WILTON: Last week Panamsat reported its financial results for the third quarter and nine months, which ended 30 September 2003. In the third quarter, the company generated revenues of $210.1 million compared to $199.1 million in the third quarter of 2002. The earnings per share (EPS) of $0.14 however equaled that of last years Q3.

For the first nine months of 2003, total revenues were $613.4 million compared to $615.5 million in 2002 and EPS was $0.55 per share compared to $0.41 per share for the same period in 2002, says a company release.

According to Panamsat president and CEO Joe Wright, "It continues to be a tough environment for our industry, which has unfortunately launched more capacity than the markets demand. We saw this coming, focused on the fundamentals of our business and managed for profitability and free cash flow. Our strategy has worked."

Panamsat has acquired Esatel to add to its Hughes Global Services HGS acquisition, to fillip its communication capabilities, both in the air and on the ground section to meet the rapidly growing government demand. The satellite service provider launched satellites Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1, which offer the first High-Definition television neighborhood in the US.

Operating lease revenues were $206.0 million for the third quarter of 2003, compared to $194.4 million for the same period in 2002. According to the release, the increase in operating lease revenues could be attributed to additional government revenues related to the Company's new G2 Satellite Solutions division and an increase in network services revenues. These increases were partially offset by lower video revenues recorded as a result of customer credit related issues. Total sales and sales-type lease revenues were $4.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2003, compared to $4.7 million for the same period in 2002.

Operating lease revenues from video services were $119.0 million during the third quarter of 2003, compared to $124.9 million for the third quarter of 2002. This decrease was primarily due to customer credit related issues and lower occasional services revenues. Overall video services revenues were $123.1 million in the third quarter of 2003, compared to $129.6 million in the third quarter of 2002, says the release.

Operating lease revenues from network services increased to $54.5 million for the third quarter of 2003, compared to $49.4 million for the third quarter of 2002. This increase in network services revenues is primarily a result of net new business recorded during the third quarter of 2003 from network resellers. Operating lease revenues from government services (previously included within network services revenues) increased to $21.2 million for the third quarter of 2003, compared to $6.3 million for the third quarter of 2002. The $21.2 million for the third quarter of 2003 primarily represents revenues from the Company's G2 Satellite Solutions division, which was formed in 2003 after the acquisition of HGS.

Total direct operating costs and selling, general & administrative costs for the three months ended 30 September 2003 increased by $5.4 million or 10 percent to $57.9 million as compared to $52.5 million for the same period in 2002. This increase is primarily attributable to additional costs related to the Company's G2 Satellite Services division, partially offset by lower bad debt expense and the Company's continued focus on operational efficiencies including lower insurance costs.

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