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Eutelsat’s Q1 revenue dips; waits for QUANTUM ramp-up, new CEO

Eutelsat Communications reported 287.3 million euro ($332 million) in revenues for the first quarter of 2021-22, down 8.9% on a reported basis and by 4.4% like-for-like. The company said this performance is in line with expectations.

Revenues of the five operating verticals stood at 284.8 million euro ($329 million), down by 3.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Broadcast is Eutelsat’s largest driver of revenue, and makes up 62% of group revenue, in line with its percentage in the 2020-21 fiscal year. For the first quarter, Broadcast revenues amounted to 177.6 million euro ($205 million), down 6.5% year-on-year. The company said this reflects the carry-forward effect of the slowdown in the pace of new business due to COVID, which affected resellers across Europe.

Yet Eutelsat also said there are signs of a return to normality in Europe with a multi-year agreement signed with the Polish national commercial broadcaster, TVN; and a contract with Zeonbud, Ukraine’s nation-wide DTT operator.

Data and Professional Video is Eutelsat’s second-largest segment, and made up 14% of group revenue for the quarter. This segment reported 38.4 million euro ($44 million) in revenue, down by 1.4% year-on-year. Eutelsat said year-on-year decline is more pronounced for Professional Vide, and Fixed Data is seeing improved volume trends.

Government Services makes up 13% of group revenue and reported 37 million euro ($43 million) in the first quarter, down 1.8% year-on-year. This reflects the negative carry-forward effect of U.S. government renewals. Eutelsat said this segment will benefit in the second half from the ramp-up of the QUANTUM satellite, from which the company is depending on a strong pipeline of opportunities. QUANTUM was launched on July 30, and is expected to enter into service by the end of calendar year 2021.

Mobile Connectivity, at 6% of group revenues, reported 17.1 million euro ($20 million), up 0.8% year-on-year. This reflects continued progress in maritime and a contract with Global Eagle, now Anuvu, signed in the second half of 2020-21. It is also impacted by ongoing lower revenues from certain service providers in aero mobility.

Fixed Broadband, at 5% of group revenues, reported 14.6 million euro ($17 million), up 65% year-on-year — this was Eutelsat’s largest growth for the quarter. It reflects wholesale agreements with Orange and TIM, and progress in retail and African operations.

“First quarter revenues are in line with our expectations, and we confirm our financial objectives for the current and subsequent years,” Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer commented. “Our broadcast activities continue to reflect the carry-forward effects of last year’s COVID-related slowdown, but we are seeing signs of a return to normal with renewed commercial activity in Europe … At the same time, our growth drivers are now coming into their stride, notably with major deals secured for our broadband capacity in two more of Europe’s largest markets, Germany and Spain, and ongoing traction in Africa.”

The backlog stood at 4.2 billion euro ($4.9 billion) at 30 September 2021, versus 4.4 billion euro ($5.1 billion) at end-September 2020 and end-June 2021. Broadcast representing 64% of the backlog.

Eutelsat did not make any changes to its fleet deployment plan during the quarter.

Eutelsat is now looking for a new CEO after Belmer announced he will leave at the beginning of 2022 to lead French information technology company Atos. Belmer leaves just one month after Eutelsat rejected an unsolicited proposal from Franco-Israeli telecoms entrepreneur Patrick Drahi to take over the operator. Via Satellite

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