Advanced Television

ViaSat accepts $188m compensation

November 5, 2018

ViaSat of Carlsbad, California, has agreed a $188 million (€165.3m) insurance claim as compensation for antenna failures on its ViaSat-2 satellite. Some $44.4 million has already been banked.

ViaSat operates high-speed fixed and mobile broadband services to North American consumers as well as government and large commercial users. The operator is expanding over Europe and further afield.

The news of the insurance settlement emerged during ViaSat’s Q2/2019 results for the quarter-year to September 2018. Mark Dankberg, chairman/CEO, talked about continued sequential EBITDA growth throughout his 2019 trading year “as order book drives revenue growth”.

“We entered the year with a substantial order book and we’re capitalizing on that by ramping activation of In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) on commercial airlines and delivering products and mobile broadband services to government customers. Satellite services segment revenues are accelerating on a more diversified base including residential, IFC, enterprise and community Wi-Fi applications – while our government segment is also reflecting the benefits of many of these same investments,” said Dankberg.

He reported that residential (monthly) ARPU for its satellite broadband service grew by 10 percent y-o-y to $74.35, and helped by “a higher mix of new and existing subscribers choosing Viasat’s premium highest speed plans. At the close of the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, subscribers totalled approximately 585,000, up on a sequential quarter basis.”

The results were commented on by analyst Giles Thorne at investment bank Jefferies, saying that the numbers “could be summarised in one word: Inflection”. Thorne added that “eye-catching” growth is possible despite ViaSat’s lacklustre fixed-broadband division’s numbers.

“The 2Q/2019 results look good,” Thorne stated, and with overall revenues for the quarter at $517.5 million (up 31.7 per cent y-o-y) few could argue, and helped by 103.5 per cent growth in its Commercial Networks division (at $114.5 million).

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