Despite falls in overall revenues (down 1.9 per cent like-for-like) Eutelsat’s CEO Rodolphe Belmer says that the satellite operator is on the mend.
“I would highlight the progressive improvement throughout the year for the five operating verticals. Moreover, in terms of financial discipline, we are ahead of plan on the LEAP cost savings programme. Elsewhere, the successful application of our design-to-cost policy – clearly illustrated in the renewal of the HOTBIRD constellation – will enable us once again to reduce our capex envelope in the coming years, while the disposal of our stake in Hispasat enhanced our deleveraging efforts. On the operational front, we took an important step in terms of shaping our Connectivity strategy with the procurement of our KONNECT VHTS satellite.”
“During this year,” added Belmer, “we also delivered a solid commercial performance which sets us in good stead to achieve our objective of returning to slight revenue growth this year. All our other financial targets are also confirmed, and we are recommending a dividend increase of 5 per cent to 1.27 per share, underpinned by substantial discretionary free cash-flow growth, and as a mark of our confidence in the future of our company.”
Eutelsat’s channel count is up 4.8 per cent, with HD penetration now at 21 per cent.
Revenues for FY 2017-18 stood at €1.4079 billion, down 1.9 per cent like-for-like. On a reported basis, they were down 4.7 per cent, reflecting a negative currency effect of 3.2 points and a positive perimeter effect of 0.4 points (impact of the acquisition of Noorsat partly offset by the disposal of Wins/DHI and DSAT Cinema).
But looking at the most recent quarter-year (to June 30th) and the numbers are better, at €373.9 million, and up 4.3 per cent and an impressive 7.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis.