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AsiaSat upbeat on 2017 prospects

As expected, AsiaSat’s annual report confirmed last year’s decline in revenues and operating profits, but the company’s prospects under newly-appointed CEO Andrew Jordan was significantly more optimistic in the Hong Kong-based satellite operator’s expectations for 2017.

AsiaSat’s 2016 numbers showed 2016 revenue of HK$1,272 million (€152.8m), down 3 per cent compared to 2015 primarily due to reduced short-term revenue from AsiaSat 3S.  2016 profit attributable to owners maintained at HK$430 million (2015: HK$440 million), as a result of lower income tax charges following the reversal of a provision made in previous years.

Combined new and renewed contracts during the year valued at HK$1,870 million (2015: HK$1,310 million). As at December 31st 2016, the value of contracts on hand increased by 16 per cent to HK$4,067 million (2015: HK$3,517 million).

Utilisation of AsiaSat 4, AsiaSat 5, AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 7 as of December 31st 2016 stood at 67 per cent (99 transponders utilised), with AsiaSat 8’s entire Ku-band payload fully leased at 4 degrees West and AsiaSat 3S operating in inclined orbit to provide service in Asia.

Indeed, it is this above mentioned lease of AsiaSat 8 by Israel’s Spacecom that will be the cornerstone of its 2017 uptick in revenues. Spacecom is paying $22 million a year, for at least 4 years, to rent AsiaSat 8.

AsiaSat 9, a replacement for AsiaSat 4 and planned for launch in late 2017, will offer additional capacity serving new markets for DTH, regional video distribution, private networks and broadband services.

AsiaSat’s Chairman, JU Wei Min, said, “In the coming year, the Board of Directors is cautiously optimistic on the economic prospects for the region, which, despite relatively flat indicators for some markets continues to invest in new telecommunications and media infrastructure, as well as renewing and updating existing facilities. New DTH platforms focused on smaller emerging markets remain attractive, especially given the need for relevant local-language services.”

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