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Eutelsat: 6,342 channels

Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat has unveiled its full-year results, with EBITDA up 2.9 per cent at €1.164 billion, and based on revenues that were up just 0.2 per cent (at constant currency) at €1.529 billion, and thus maintaining its 76 per cent EBITDA margin. However, its contracted backlog fell back 9.5 per cent (to €5.6 billion). Drilling down into the Q4 numbers saw y-o-y revenue fall 2.3 per cent to €371.6 million.

Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer said the operator had now passed the 6,000 channel mark (6,342), and with HD channels now making up 13.6 percent of that total and having grown HD by 26 per cent over the past year, and the launch of its first UHD channels. Eutelsat’s overall fill-rate is down, however, from 78.7 per cent this time last year, to 70.9 per cent in June 2016, and not helped by an extra 43 operational transponders added to the fleet.

Eutelsat admits there are still strong headwinds, not least in terms of Data revenues (down 6.1 per cent) and Government Services division (down 7.5 per cent). Offsetting these downward trends were solid growth in Video Applications (up 2.3 per cent), Value-Added services (up 4.8 per cent) and Miscellaneous revenues which grew 23.4 per cent.

“In FY 2015-16, revenues from Video Applications were up 2.3 per cent like-for-like to €943.6 million. This reflected sustained growth in MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa with the entry into service of new capacity on EUTELSAT 8 West B in October 2015 and EUTELSAT 36C in February 2016, as well as growth at 16° East (Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Europe), and 7° East (Middle East and East Africa). Fransat also recorded higher revenues on the back of the transition to High Definition in France,” said Eutelsat.

“These positive elements more than offset lower revenues at the HOTBIRD position following the non-renewal in recent months of some contracts with service providers, a decline in revenues from Professional Video and lower revenues in Russia following the renegotiation of certain contracts last year,” added a statement.

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