Eutelsat presses all the revenue buttons

As expected, Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat turned in an impressive set of Q3 numbers after trading hours on May 7th. All its key metrics were positive with insiders also talking optimistically about the state of play on its giant Ka-Sat craft.  An order from Rawafed Libya for 1.6 Gb/s Ka-Sat service in terms of capacity is, according to our sources, worth around two of Ka-Sat’s spot beams.

Quarterly revenues were up 4.6 per cent to €323 million (3.9 per cent at constant currency) while the 9 months trading to March 31st rose 5 per cent to €956.5 million (up 3.5 per cent at constant currency). Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen said that the operator’s all-important backlog (its contract order book) now stood at 5.5 billion, a record for the company.

De Rosen, in giving guidance for the rest of this year confirmed a 5-6 per cent revenue growth(“at the lower end”) and what he described as “robust” EBITDA margin of around 77.5 per cent.

“Third quarter revenues were up 4.6 per cent. The performance of Video, our main business, accounting for almost 70 per cent of revenues, was underpinned by sustained demand at key neighbourhoods over Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Multi-usage revenues reflected the impact of US federal budget sequestration which significantly affected the outcome of contract negotiations during the quarter.

This was partially offset by the integration of Eutelsat 172A into the fleet.

The record order backlog of €5.5 billion was buoyed in particular by new long-term video contracts in North Africa and the Middle East, lending strong visibility on future revenues. We are pursuing our programme to deploy capacity on seven additional satellites by end 2015 to enable us to meet demand in the highest growth applications and regions, with the first, Eutelsat 3D, on track for launch on May 14th.

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