Advanced Television

Intelsat revenue slides

April 30, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Intelsat explained that the recent ‘total loss’ of its IS-29e satellite has meant a loss of some business.

“Many of our customers were transitioned to services on other Intelsat satellites, including Intelsat 32e and Intelsat 37e, as well as our wide-beam satellites. Given the high utilization of Intelsat 29e in certain connectivities, we were unable to restore all services on our fleet. We utilized a pre-existing reciprocal agreement with satellite service provider, SES, to restore many services. We have also required the procurement of some services from other satellite operators. As a result of the use of third-party services, we will incur higher direct cost of revenue as we continue to deliver our contractual obligations for these services,” the company said in a statement.

The lost satellite, not insured, will further impact revenues for the rest of this year, said an Intelsat statement.

The operator also said that the Failure Review Board currently looking at the reasons behind the lost satellite would take “several months”. “We note that the previously reported thruster anomaly on the Intelsat 33e satellite was due to the failure of the main engine thruster, a different system than that involved in the Intelsat 29e event. Thus, we believe there to be no relationship between the two anomalies.”

Total revenue for Intelsat was $528 million in Q1/2019, a decrease of $15 million as compared to Q1/2018. Net loss attributable to Intelsat S.A. was $121 million for Q1/2019, as compared to net loss attributable to Intelsat S.A. of $67 million in Q1/2018.

Intelsat’s fill rate was an impressive 78 per cent. Intelsat expects full-year 2019 revenue in a range of $2.000 billion to $2.060 billion. This includes approximately $45 million to $50 million related specifically to the financial impacts stemming from the loss of Intelsat 29e.

The operator’s backlog of firm contracts declined some $200 million to $7.9 billion as at December 31st 2018.

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