Thales Group is a major builder and supplier to the world’s satellite operators, but it is suffering from the marked downturn in new satellite orders.
Thales told investors on September 4th that unless its order book started winning new business then it would have to restructure its space division. There is much speculation in the French and specialised press that the downturn could lead to Thales merging with – its current fierce competitor – Airbus Defence & Space,
Thales said space-related sales are expected to fall by about 10 per cent this year, and “to decline in a lower proportion in 2020”.
Thales is aggressively bidding for new satellite orders pending from SES and Eutelsat as well as developing next-generation craft for SES (SES Next).
Thales is also a major contractor for the European Space Agency for specialist satellites as well as various potential contracts for NASA and the International Space Station.