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Avanti numbers postponed to January

October 24, 2017

Last week, Inside Satellite was specifically told by a representative of Avanti Communications that the London-based satellite operator would release its end-of-year numbers (to June 30th) no later than November.

The company last week had suffered two days of heavy share trading which took Avanti’s share price to its lowest-ever value.

However, in an after-hours note issued on Oct 20th to the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) Avanti stated that many of its bond holders had agreed to issue its Annual Report as well as its Q1 trading statement “no later” than January 31st 2018.

Avanti said that bond holders holding more than 60 per cent of its debt had “consented” to the new timetable.

“The consents will also permit the Company to make certain changes to the call protection for a future tranche of an incremental facility which will be made under its existing Super Senior Facility,” said the October 20th statement.

In a somewhat volatile trading session October 23rd at one point Avanti’s share price fell 14.57 per cent and taking the company’s market capitalization to just £10.96 million.

Back in June the operator agreed a new $100 million refinancing package and with a lower interest payment (of 7.5 per cent instead of 10 per cent) and agreed a new repayment schedule to a start date of March 31st 2018. At the time Paul Walsh, Avanti’s chairman, said “This transaction is a positive step for the company to lower its cost of capital with a prominent global investor and provide additional headroom in a crucial period with the launch of Hylas-4 pending and customer demand for our products recovering.”

Revenues which were initially expected to start flowing this year as a result of two new satellites are much delayed. Avanti’s Hylas-4 craft is not expected to launch until March 2018 at the earliest, more than a year later than planned. Hylas-3 is not expected to launch much before mid-2018.

Avanti’s last financial statement to the market was issued on July 4th and said that revenues for the full financial year were “about $62 million”, and added that “a number of projects to sell spectrum are progressing well but have not closed in time to impact the final quarter.”

Avanti added in July that it had won a new 3-year contract worth up to $21 million to deploy several hundred services to government sites across Africa with an existing government customer.  “This, in addition to recent announcements of Mobility, 5G and broadband orders and a strengthened balance sheet creates a positive outlook for the new financial year,” said the statement.

However, the revenue position is well down on that of 2016 ($82.8 million) and 2015 ($85.2 million).

Avanti did not, in its July 4th release, break out its losses for the year, nor identify the operational cash in hand, nor its contracted backlog, nor fleet utilisation.

On August 10th Avanti announced that its founder and CEO David Williams had stepped down.

Avanti has a somewhat flexible attitude to releasing its half-year and full year trading numbers. For example, its 2017 H1 results were issued on February 28th. The brief ‘trading update’ of July 4th issued headline revenue numbers only. 

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