AsiaSat up, but down

Hong Kong-based AsiaSat reported a 10% increase in revenues, to US$133.1m, compared with 2007’s US$121.2m in the year to Dec 31 2008. However, its profits for the year fell slightly to US$62.6m, compared to US$64.9m. But the satellite operators overall health is sound despite the “turbulent times” in the region.

AsiaSat’s transponder count rose 25% during last year, with utilisation rate up 60%. AsiaSat 5 is scheduled for launch in Q3 this year, and the operator is planning for AsiaSat 6.

“Our 20th anniversary year saw the Group’s performance strengthen in line with a more dynamic Asian satellite market, as reflected in our increased transponder utilization rates and a steady flow of new contracts. This took place in the context of a global economic slowdown that has created a great deal of uncertainty for 2009. Looking forward, however, we believe that the fundamental growth drivers of the Asian satellite industry remain solid,” AsiaSat Chairman Mi Zeng Xin said in a statement.