Video remains key for Eutelsat
06.57 Europe/London, November 4, 2011 By Robert Briel

Eutelsat has reported that its first quarter revenues of their 20011/2012 year stood at €295.4, million up 3.4% despite limited available in-orbit Ku-band capacity. Video services remain key with 67.4% of revenues.

Commenting on the first quarter, Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO said in a statenent, “Eutelsat generated revenue growth of 3.4% in the first quarter. This reflects a temporary transitional period for the Group until current capacity constraints, resulting from two years of stronger than expected up-take of our in-orbit resources, are alleviated.
Two new satellites, Atlantic Bird 7 and W3C, will enter into full commercial service during the second quarter. Both of these stellites cover fast-growing video markets including the Middle East, North Africa and Central Europe. The W3C satellite will also significantly expand our capacity to serve data markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

“The availability of these replacement and expansion resources, and a further five satellites to be launched between now and June 2014, will enable us to meet continued solid underlying demand in our markets. We therefore confirm our revenue target for the current year of above €1,235 million, and of above 7% CAGR for the 2011-2014 outlook period accompanied by an EBITDA margin of above 77%.”

Revenues from video applications rose 1.4% to €198.2 million. This result reflects capacity constraints occasioned by the rapid take-up of in-orbit capacity that became available in 2009-2010, and the 12 month delay in the arrival of new capacity at 16 degrees East following the non-availability of the W3B satellite. Moreover, the first quarter of the previous year benefitted in part from an exceptional boost from broadcasting of the World Cup football tournament.

The number of TV channels across Eutelsat’s fleet continued to increase, demonstrating the dynamism of television broadcasting. At September 30, 2011, Eutelsat’s fleet was transmitting a total of 3,952 televisionchannels, up 252, from 3,700 last year. The number of channels broadcast in High Definition reached 239, up 24%, from 192.

Significant channel growth was recorded at two key video neighbourhoods, which benefitted from the availability of new resources during the 2009 and 2010 period.

7 degrees West, with coverage of the Middle East and North Africa, saw the number of channels increase by 45. The 7 degree West neighbourhood now carries 394 television channels, comprising a mix of Arab language content and international channels.

36 degrees East covering Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa, saw an increase in the number of TV channels (up 117) and now broadcasts a total of 686 channels. These markets benefitted in 2010 from the arrival of the W7 satellite, which more than doubled capacity.

Future growth of video applications will be accelerated by the entry into service of two satellites, Atlantic Bird 7 at 7 degrees West and W3C at 16 degrees East.