Advanced Television

Eutelsat revenues increase

May 11, 2012

By Chris Forrester

Eutelsat’s quarterly and 9-month financials show that its revenue growth remains firmly upward, although there are signs that its important ‘multi-usage’ segment is slowing in growth terms.

Overall revenues are up 4.6 per cent for the quarter-year (to March 31st) and a matching 4.6 per cent for the 9 months to the same date. Video-based clients helped drive revenues up 6.3 per cent for the quarter (although just 4 per cent for the 9 months). Eutelsat’s Data & Value-Added service revenues were stagnant (quarterly down 1.6 per cent, 9 months absolutely flat).

The satellite operator’s Multi-Usage segment, which covers military and governmental sales, saw revenues grow y-o-y at a very attractive 13.3 per cent. However, this has created something of a worry for analysts, given that Eutelsat has recorded typical growth rates of around 30 per cent over recent periods. 13 per cent is good, say the analysts, but it isn’t 30 per cent! This decline in growth is a simple fact of life and reflects the reducing demand from governmental coverage of the Middle East’s war zones.

CEO Michel de Rosen admitted that some sales environments are proving more challenging than others. He cited the Balkans and Africa as being “more competitive” and specifically highlighted the business-related roll-out of its expensive investment in Ka-band capacity (KaSat).

Eutelsat’s headline guidance for the full financial year (which wraps at the end of June) is to turn in around €1.22 billion in sales (down around €15 million on previous guidance) and generating EBITDA of about €955 million, which would represent a 78 per cent margin.

Eutelsat is now handling a record 4,252 channels (up y-o-y from 3835) up 11 per cent or 417 channels. HDTV channels stand at 333, up from 210 y-o-y, and a penetration rate of 8 per cent.

Eutelsat’s all-important contract backlog stands at €5.36 billion.

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