Intelsat Q1: Media decline impacts numbers

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Intelsat’s Q1 results were released on May 5th and showed some significant improvements y-o-y. For example, total revenues for the quarter-year were $502.7 million ($458.8m in 2020) up by 9.6 per cent y-o-y, and while the company is still working its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reconstruction its net loss position also improved to $174.9 million (from $218.7m in 2020).

CEO Steve Spengler reported strong progress in its Network services division, but its Media segment suffered. “We see increased signs of economic activity across our business sectors as COVID-19 restrictions ease.  We are well-positioned to benefit from an expected economic expansion as we anticipate emergence from our financial restructuring as a stronger and more agile company ready to deliver innovative solutions to our customers.”

Intelsat’s Network services division (and 43 per cent of total revenues) was $214 million ($149.4m in 2020) and helped by inclusion of its Gogo Commercial Aviation subsidiary. Overall, this was an improvement of 43 per cent y-o-y.

Its Media segment (and 37 per cent of its overall revenues) fell back 10 per cent or $20.8 million to $184.9 million, from $205.8 million. The company reported: “The decline in media was primarily driven by a planned service migration by a specific customer from Intelsat’s network to the customer’s own network assets.” It is worth noting that a year ago (Q1/2020) its Media business represented 45 per cent of Intelsat’s revenues and had fallen during the year by 9 per cent. It’s clear that Intelsat’s Media-related revenues continue to be under pressure.

Intelsat’s Government business (19 per cent of revenues) grew by 2 per cent to $97.9 million (from $95.7m).

The company’s modest Satellite-related segment (just 1 per cent of revenues) fell by 25 per cent but this was a $2 million fall in revenues to $5.9 million.

Intelsat’s contracted backlog stood at $5.9 billion as at March 31st ($6.1 billion at Dec 31st 2020). But a year ago (Q1/2020) its backlog stood at $6.6 billion. Its March 31st ‘fill rate’ was 73 per cent “similar to our average fill rate at Dec 31st”. However, a year ago its fill rate was a more impressive 78.5 per cent.

Intelsat still shows total liabilities of $12.84 billion, inevitably not helped by interest obligations of $132.3 million (a 58 per cent improvement y-o-y from $186 million last year).


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