Intelsat Q1 loss $219m

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Intelsat might be in Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, but trading continues.

The satellite operator’s revenues were $458.8 million for Q1 (to March 31st) down 13 per cent, and after interest payments and other obligations, that turned into a net loss of $218.8 million for the quarter.

The company reported significant downturns in Network Services (down 27 per cent y-o-y) and Media (down 9 per cent). It paid interest on its borrowings of $318.3 million for the quarter-year ($316.6 million).

Intelsat’s CEO, Stephen Spengler, said: “Like many companies, we were not immune to the effects of COVID-19, which created challenges for our underlying business. Our first quarter results reflect the decline in sea and air travel which negatively impacted our network services business. The media business also experienced disruptions primarily related to the decline in ‘occasional use’ services for sporting events and concerts which were cancelled to comply with the broad stay-at-home orders issued during the period. We were pleased with the resilience of the government services business which delivered stable results in a challenging environment while generating renewals and new business contracts.”

Spengler concluded: “Last week we announced our decision to opt into the FCC Accelerated C-band Clearing Plan. We are already working closely with our customers and vendors to ensure we achieve the agreed upon milestones. Intelsat is committed to helping the U.S. maintain its leadership in developing advanced telecommunications technologies. Our role in clearing the C-band will help create a winning formula for America in the race to deploy 5G networks.”

Network services revenue was $149.4 million (or 33 per cent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, a decrease of 27 per  cent compared to the three months ended March 31st, 2019. The decline in network services revenue was related to non-renewals and renewals at lower pricing coupled with two unusual items, including a one-time recognition of accelerated revenue in the first quarter of 2019 and lower revenue in the current quarter when compared with the same period last year as a result of the loss of Intelsat 29e in April 2019.

Media revenue was $205.8 million (or 45 per cent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended March 31st, 2020, a decrease of 9 per cent compared to the three months ended March 31st, 2019.

The company’s contracted backlog was $6.6 billion ($7bn), and its transponder average fill rate was 78.5 per cent (78 per cent).


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