Satellite operator Eutelsat has reported total revenue of $368m for Q1 2020-21, down 0.7% on a reported basis and by
0.8% like-for-like. Revenues of the five operating verticals (excluding ‘other revenues’) stood at $358m.
They were down by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis excluding a negative currency effect of c. 1.2 points. Quarter-on-quarter, revenues of the five operating verticals were down by 1.3% like-for-like.
Broadcast revenues for Q1 amounted to $222m, down 1.5% year-on-year, reflecting the impact from the renegotiation of contract terms with Greece’s Forthnet. They include a positive one-off of circa $2.3m. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, revenues were down by 1.9%.
At September 30, 2020, the total number of channels broadcast by Eutelsat satellites stood at 6,683, down 4% year-on-year. The number of HD channels stood at 1,739 versus 1,582 a year earlier, up by 10% and represented 26% of channels compared with 22.7% a year earlier. As a result, Mbps consumption was stable year-on-year.
On the commercial front, a multi-year agreement was reached with Sky Italia, Eutelsat’s largest broadcast customer for the renewal and consolidation of its capacity agreements at the Hotbird position, securing broadly stable revenues for Eutelsat in the medium term.
While the operator is experiencing a broad slowdown in the pace of new business against the current operating backdrop, this quarter has seen the extension in the duration of existing contracts with Russia’s Tricolor TV and with Azam TV in Sub-Sahara Africa and Eutelsat secured new contracts with BluTV, for a new DTH platform in Brazil on Eutelsat 65 West A, and with Switzerland’s Kabelio for a new DTH platform at the Hotbird orbital position.
Other revenues amounted to $10m in Q1 versus $1.2m a year earlier and $2.6m in Q4 of last fiscal year. They included a positive $2.8m impact from hedging operations compared to a negative impact of $1.9m last year.
Commenting on the report, Rodolphe Belmer, Chief Executive Officer of Eutelsat Communications, said: “Eutelsat has made a solid start to the year, with operating verticals revenues in line with expectations and a backlog of $51bn, up 3% year-on-year. Highlights of Q1 include the renewal of the Sky Italia contract at Hotbird, confirming the ongoing relevance of satellite in Western Europe, and significant steps in our Fixed Broadband strategy with the acquisition of Bigblu Broadband Europe ahead of the imminent entry into service of Eutelsat Konnect.
“This performance demonstrates the general resilience of our business to the current environment. Although the rate of new business in certain verticals, in particular in Broadcast, is slower than usual against the general operating backdrop, we have nevertheless produced a solid commercial outturn securing several new contracts and renewals on favourable terms. Based on this performance we confirm our financial objectives for the current year and subsequent year.”