Eutelsat Communications First Half 2012-2013 Results in Line With Targets

Feb 07, 2013, 12:33 ET from Eutelsat Communications

PARIS, February 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Note: This press release contains unaudited condensed consolidated half-year accounts prepared under IFRS which was reviewed by the Audit Committee 5 February 2013 and approved by the Board of Directors of Eutelsat Communications on 7 February 2013.

  • Revenue growth: +5.2% at €633.6 million, including EUTELSAT 172A; +3.3% at constant currency
  • Profitability:
    • EBITDA[1] up 4.9% to €501.9 million; industry-leading EBITDA margin of 79.2%
    • Group share of net income up 13.9% to €178.5 million; net margin at 28.2%
  • Excellent visibility: record backlog of €5.4 billion
  • Fleet expansion programme on track with successful launches of EUTELSAT 21B, EUTELSAT 70B and integration of EUTELSAT 172A
  • Current and three year targets confirmed

The Board of Directors of Eutelsat Communications (ISIN: FR0010221234 - Euronext Paris: ETL) approved the financial results for the half-year ended 31 December 2012.

    Six months ended 31 December                       2011      2012  Change
                Key elements of consolidated income statement
    Revenues                                  EURm    602.4     633.6   +5.2%
    EBITDA                                    EURm    478.5     501.9   +4.9%
    EBITDA margin                                     79.4%     79.2%  -0.2pt
    Group share of net income                 EURm    156.8     178.5  +13.9%
    Diluted earnings per share                 EUR    0.713     0.813  +13.9%
             Key elements of consolidated statement of cash flows
    Net cash flows from operating activities  EURm    333.2     406.8  +22.1%
    Capital expenditure                       EURm    241.8  388.7[2]  +60.7%
    Operating free cash flows                 EURm     91.4      18.1  -80.2%
                     Key elements of financial structure
    Net debt                                  EURm  2,379.6   2,612.9   +9.8%
    Net debt/EBITDA                              X     2.53      2.66
    Backlog                                  EURbn      5.3       5.4   +0.5%

Commenting on the half year 2012-2013 results, Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat Communications, said:  "We are pleased to report robust results for first half 2012-2013, with revenue growth of over 5% and an EBITDA margin exceeding 79%.   The record backlog of €5.4 billion underscores our long term visibility on revenues and cash flows.

Two new satellites, EUTELSAT 21B and EUTELSAT 70B were successfully launched in the first half and recently entered into service, and the recently acquired EUTELSAT 172A was smoothly integrated into the fleet.  These three advances mark another milestone in the Group's expansion programme that will lead to an increase of in-orbit resources by more than 30% in the three-year period from June 2012 to June 2015.

At the half year point, Eutelsat remains fully on track to meet its current year and mid-term targets of top-line growth of 5 to 6% for the current fiscal year and a CAGR of 6 to 7% for the three years to June 2015, and an EBITDA margin of around 77%."


1. EBITDA is defined as operating income before depreciation and amortisation, impairments and other operating income/(expenses)

2. Includes US$228 million for the acquisition of EUTELSAT 172A and related assets


Note:  Unless otherwise stated, all growth indicators or comparisons are made against the previous half year ended December 31, 2011. The share of each application as a percentage of total revenues is calculated excluding "other revenues" and "non-recurring revenues".

Revenues by business application  (in millions of euros)

                                                       (in EUR
    Six months ended December 31      2011    2012    million)  (in %)
    Video Applications               403.3   430.7       +27.4   +6.8%
    Data & Value-Added Services      117.8   124.9        +7.1   +6.0%
    Data Services                     95.2    93.7        -1.5   -1.5%
    Value-Added Services              22.7    31.2        +8.5  +37.6%
    Multi-usage                       74.4    72.7        -1.8   -2.4%
    Other revenues                     3.3     5.4        +2.1  +62.5%
    Sub-total                        598.9   633.6       +34.7   +5.8%
    Non-recurring revenues             3.5       -        -3.5      nm
    Total                            602.4   633.6       +31.2   +5.2%

Group revenues rose 5.2% in the first half 2012-2013 to €633.6 million (+3.3% at a constant euro-US dollar exchange rate). Excluding non-recurring revenues, growth was 5.8%.

Second quarter revenues (excluding non-recurring revenues) stood at €319.2 million, up 3.9% (+2.9% on a constant currency basis).

VIDEO APPLICATIONS (68.6% of revenues)

Video Applications recorded revenue growth of 6.8% to €430.7 million, reflecting the ongoing strong performance of the Group's leading video neighbourhoods.

Growth at 7°/8° West and 16° East was fuelled by the take-up of new capacity added in the previous year:

  • The 7°/8° West video neighbourhood serving broadcast clients in the Middle East and North Africa remains highly dynamic, with the number of TV channels up 25% year-on-year to 618 (+125). This position benefited from new and expansion capacity on EUTELSAT 7 West A, operational since 24 October 2011. This key video neighbourhood will once again be reinforced in 2013 with the redeployment of a satellite to 8° West, in keeping with the Group's optimisation of its in-orbit resources.  
  • At the 16° East neighbourhood, serving broadcasters in Central Europe and Indian Ocean Islands, contracts were signed to support new TV channels, which rose 12% to 588, (+61) at 31 December 2012. The expansion capacity on EUTELSAT 16A, which entered into service on 9 November 2011, continues to ramp up despite some competitive pressure in the Balkans.

Sustained channel growth and HDTV adoption across the fleet:  

At 31 December 2012, the total number of TV channels broadcast by Eutelsat's satellites was 4,485, up 7.5% (+312) year-on-year. The channel count includes 398 HDTV channels, up 40.6%, implying an overall HD penetration rate of 8.9% compared to 6.8% a year earlier. The strongest channel growth was recorded at the 7°/8° West video neighbourhood (+25%). 36° East, with coverage of Russia and sub-Saharan Africa, showed the largest increase in HDTV channels (+97%). The HOT BIRD position at 13° East (covering Europe), 7°/8° West, 16° East and 7° East (covering Turkey) all reported growth in HD channels at rates higher than 30%.

Professional video and newsgathering services benefited during the period from a number of special events, including the 2012 London Olympic Games.


Data and Value-Added services revenues amounted to €124.9 million (+6.0%).

Data Servicesrevenues declined by 1.5% to €93.7 million reflecting the full year impact of factors identified in 2011-2012, notably competitive pressure in the African market which remains, however, one of the strongest in terms of potential growth for fixed satellite service operators, as well as the end of a contract with a late-paying customers whose capacity has since been resold.  EUTELSAT 172A, acquired on 25 September 2012, contributed a full quarter to data revenues in the first half.

Eutelsat's two most recently launched satellites, EUTELSAT 21B and EUTELSAT 70B, became operational on 18 December 2012 and 16 January 2013 at 21.5° East and 70.5° East respectively and did not contribute to first half revenues. Existing traffic at both positions was successfully transferred and expansion capacity is expected to progressively ramp-up over the coming quarters.

Revenues for Value-Added Services stood at €31.2 million, up 37.6%.

Tooway™ consumer broadband services on KA-SAT contributed strongly to growth in Value-Added Services, with 72,000 active Tooway™ consumer terminals at 31 December 2012 (from 52,450 at 30 June 2012). An enhanced consumer offer featuring higher bandwidths, increased volume and more competitive pricing was made available to service providers from 1 February 2013. The professional business on KA-SAT is also developing; in October 12,600 professional terminals were deployed in the Ukraine during national parliamentary elections.

The IP Easy service, launched in May 2012 and dedicated to broadband for SOHOs (Small Office Home Office) in Africa, continued to ramp-up. This growth was insufficient to offset the decline of the other D-Star offers which are transitioning to new-generation equipment.  

Eutelsat continues to develop mobile connectivity services to maritime and aeronautical markets. The cruise ship sector contributed to first half revenue growth via the WINS subsidiary which provides capacity and services for on-board GSM and Internet connectivity. In the market for in-flight Internet connectivity, Eutelsat has just announced the launch of the Eutelsat Air Access service in Europe in the Ka-band. The service will be commercially available from mid-2013 and operate through KA-SAT using ViaSat technology.

MULTI-USAGE (11.6% of revenues)

Multi-usage revenues include short-term contracts for government administrations who lease transponder capacity from service providers to meet regional coverage needs. Revenues declined by 2.4% to €72.7 million, reflecting a weaker renewal campaign in February/March 2012. Nevertheless, the outcome of the September/October 2012 renewal campaign was in-line with expectations, and EUTELSAT 172A contributed to revenues of this activity in the second quarter.

The two newest satellites, EUTELSAT 21B and EUTELSAT 70B, are well-positioned to meet certain geographic needs for Multi-usage customers in the future.


Other revenues and non-recurring revenues stood at €5.4 million at 31 December 2012. They comprise contributions from activity related to service contracts with partners, equipment sales and the result of the Group's foreign exchange hedging programme.


Backlog reaches a record high of €5.4 billion

The order backlog at 31 December 2012 stood at the record level of €5.4 billion, reinforcing the Group's long-term visibility on revenues and operating cash flows. It was driven by strong commercial dynamic at some of the fastest growing video neighbourhoods, particularly satellites addressing the Middle East and North Africa.

The backlog represents a weighted average residual life of contracts of 7.3 years and is equivalent to approximately 4.4 times annual revenues for FY 2011-2012.

The order backlog includes EUTELSAT 172A, integrated in the fleet since September 2012.

Backlog key indicators:

    December 31                                         2010     2011     2012
    Value of contracts (in billions of euros)            4.9      5.3      5.4
    Weighted average residual life of contracts (in
    years)                                               7.9      7.3      7.3
    Share of Video Applications                        92.3%    93.0%    91.9%

The backlog represents future revenues from capacity lease agreements (including contracts for satellites not yet delivered). These capacity lease agreements can be for the entire operational life of the satellites.


As of 31 December 2012, the number of operational transponders on Eutelsat's fleet of 30 satellites stood at 850, up 6.1% on December 31, 2011. The increase reflects the integration of EUTELSAT 172A in September 2012 and EUTELSAT 21B in December 2012. As EUTELSAT 70B became operational in January 2013 it is not reflected in the transponder count at 31 December 2012.

Fleet evolution

                            31 December 2011 31 December 2012
    transponders                      801[*]           850[*]
    Leased transponders                  610              635
    Fill rate                          76.1%            74.7%

* Includes 82 KA-SAT spots as transponder equivalents. Fill rate considered at 100% when 70% of capacity is taken up.


EBITDA remained high, representing a margin of 79.2%

Group EBITDA amounted to €501.9 million, up 4.9%. The 79.2% margin remains industry-leading among FSS (Fixed Satellite Services) operators.

Operating expenses amounted to €131.8 million, up 6.4%, mainly reflecting the increase in resources dedicated to reinforcing the Group's commercial activity, including the development of consumer and professional services on KA-SAT. This trend is expected to continue in the second half of the fiscal year.

Group share of net income up 13.9%, net margin at 28.2%

Group share of net income stood at €178.5 million, an increase of €21.8 million (+13.9%), reflecting:

  • Higher level of EBITDA (+4.9%),
  • Higher depreciation (+€10.3 million) mainly due to the full year effect of the two satellites launched in H1 2011-2012 (EUTELSAT 7 West A and EUTELSAT 16A),
  • Higher financial result (+€12.5  million) due to the non-recurrence of a one-off item in the previous year, not entirely offset by the increased financial interest on the Group's indebtedness, linked partially to a new €300 million bond,
  • Higher income from associates (+€1.0 million) with the strong performance of Hispasat,
  • Income tax increase limited to €4.7 million despite the tougher French tax environment, resulting in a decrease in the effective tax rate from 38.4% in H1 2011-2012 to 36.6% in H1 2012-2013.

Extract from the consolidated income statement (in millions of euros)[3]

    Six months ended December 31                      2011     2012     Change
    Revenues                                         602.4    633.6      +5.2%
    Operating expenses[4]                          (123.9)  (131.8)      +6.4%
    EBITDA                                           478.5    501.9      +4.9%
    Depreciation and amortisation[5]               (153.0)  (163.3)      +6.8%
    Other operating income (expenses)                    -        -          -
    Operating income                                 325.5    338.6      +4.0%
    Financial result                                (66.9)   (54.4)     -18.7%
    Income tax expense                              (99.3)  (104.0)      +4.7%
    Income from associates                             5.2      6.2     +19.9%
    Portion of net income attributable to
    non-controlling interests                        (7.7)    (7.9)      +2.4%
    Group share of net income                        156.8    178.5     +13.9%


Net cash flows from operating activities amounted to €406.8 million (64% of revenues)

The Group recorded an increase of €73.6 million (+22.1%) in net cash flows from operating activities to €406.8 million, representing 64.2% of revenues. This reflected the increase in revenues combined with the improvement of receivables collection, and lower taxes paid (-€27.8 million).

Capital expenditures amounted to €388.7 million including US$228 million for the acquisition of EUTELSAT 172A and related assets.

Diversification of financing supports strong financial position

The Group further diversified its funding sources:

  • In October 2012, the Group successfully raised €300 million through the issuance of a new 10-year bond at the Eutelsat S.A. level. The coupon is 3.125%.
  • At 31 December 2012, the Group had drawn a total of US$46.3 million on a US$66.2 million export credit facility signed in May 2012 with the US Ex-Im Bank (Export-Import Bank of the United States) for the partial financing of a satellite programme. The facility will be repaid through 17 semi-annual instalments from November 2013 to November 2021. The facility bears interest at a fixed rate of 1.71%.

With the new financings in place, the average maturity of the Group's indebtedness now reaches 5.3 years.

The average cost of debt drawn by the Group was 5.00% (after hedging) in the first six months of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The net debt to EBITDA ratio for the first half was 2.66 times, compared to 2.53 times at 31 December 2011 and 2.48 times at 30 June 2012.

Net debt to EBITDA ratio

    As of December 31                                        2011        2012
    Net debt at the beginning of the
    period                                      EURm        2,198       2,374
    Net debt at the end of the period           EURm        2,380       2,613
    Net debt / EBITDA (Last twelve months)         X         2.53        2.66


3. For more details, please refer to Group condensed consolidated half-year accounts at

4. "Operating expenses" is defined as the sum of operating costs plus selling, general & administrative expenses.

5. Comprises amortisation expense of €22.2 million corresponding to the intangible asset "Customer Contracts and Relationships" identified during the acquisition of Eutelsat S.A. by Eutelsat Communications.

Net debt includes all bank debt, bonds and all liabilities from long-term lease agreements, less cash and cash equivalents (net of bank overdraft).


Eutelsat confirms the outlook published on 30 July 2012 for the current year and three years to June 2015.

  • Revenue targets at +5-6% for 2012-2013, and CAGR of 6-7% to June 2015, including the impact of the acquisition of EUTELSAT 172A;
  • EBITDA margin at around 77% for each fiscal year until June 2015;
  • Average capital expenditure of €500 million per annum over the three fiscal years to June 2015 (excluding EUTELSAT 172A);
  • Net debt to EBITDA ratio of below 3.3x, for a solid investment grade credit rating;
  • Dividend pay-out ratio of 65% to 75% of Group share of net income.


Successful launches of EUTELSAT 21B and EUTELSAT 70B: both satellites in full commercial service

EUTELSAT 21B was successfully launched by Arianespace on 10 November 2012 and entered into commercial service at 21.5° East on 18 December 2012.

The satellite addresses users ranging from enterprises and government administrations to broadcasters, news agencies and telcos. It offers increased bandwidth (40 Ku-band transponders versus 29 on EUTELSAT 21A), higher power and improved flexibility. In addition to an enhanced widebeam spanning Europe, North Africa, the Sahel and Central Asia, it features two dedicated high-energy beams covering North-West Africa and the Middle East/Central Asia optimised for data, broadband and professional video services.

EUTELSAT 70B was successfully launched by Sea Launch on 3 December 2012 and entered into commercial service at 70.5° East on 16 January 2013.

This satellite has been custom-designed to optimise resources at 70.5° East which is a point of reference for data services, broadband access, mobile backhauling and professional video exchanges. With high frequency reuse, four powerful beams with coverage of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia are connected to 48 Ku-band transponders, more than doubling capacity at 70.5° East.

Satellite redeployments


With the entry into service of EUTELSAT 21B, the EUTELSAT 21A satellite was redeployed to 48° East (renamed EUTELSAT 48C).


With the entry into service of EUTELSAT 70B, EUTELSAT 70A is currently being redeployed to 25.5° East (renamed EUTELSAT 25C) and will remain at this position until the entry into service of EUTELSAT 25B, planned for in mid-2013. EUTELSAT 25A will be redeployed from 25.5° East to an alternative location.


In July 2012, EUTELSAT 48B was redeployed at 28.5° East (renamed EUTELSAT 28B) to address commercial opportunities outside Europe.

During H1 2012-2013, the Telecom 2D satellite was de-orbited.

Agreement with RSCC on developing 36° East and 140° East

On 1 November 2012, Eutelsat and RSCC (the Russian Satellite Communications Company), the state-owned Russian satellite operator, announced an agreement whereby Eutelsat will lease capacity for broadcasting and IP services on two RSCC satellites to be launched in 2013 and 2015. Express-АТ2 will be launched to 140° East in 2013, and Express-AMU1 (EUTELSAT 36C) will be launched in 2015 to provide follow-on and expansion capacity for EUTELSAT 36A at the 36° East position for Russia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Acquisition of EUTELSAT 172A

On 25 September 2012, the transaction to acquire the GE-23 satellite, associated customer contracts and orbital rights from GE Capital, was finalised. The satellite, renamed EUTELSAT 172A, is now part of Eutelsat's fleet, with technical and commercial teams ensuring a smooth transition for existing customers.

The addition of this satellite to the fleet complements Eutelsat's organic growth initiatives, notably the EUTELSAT 70B satellite, equipped with a dedicated Asian beam, which became operational in January 2013.

EUTELSAT 8 West B procurement

On 11 October 2012, Eutelsat announced the procurement of the EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite. It will be equipped with 40 operational Ku-band transponders designed primarily to serve DTH markets in North Africa and the Middle East. It will also introduce a C-band mission to 8° West, with 10 operational transponders in a footprint covering the African continent and reaching west to South America.


The Ordinary and Extraordinary Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Eutelsat Communications was held on November 8, 2012 in Paris under the chairmanship of Jean-Martin Folz, Chairman of the Board. The accounts for fiscal year 2011-2012 were approved, as well as all resolutions put to the vote.

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders also approved the proposal to distribute 1.00 euro per share, an increase of 11% over the previous year. This distribution, which represents a pay-out ratio of 67% of Group share of net income, was paid on November 21, 2012.

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders voted the appointment as new independent directors of Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, a Moroccan national, and Elisabetta Oliveri, an Italian national.

Following its meeting of 7 February 2013, the Board of Directors of Eutelsat Communications announced that Ross McInnes has been co-opted to the Board as an independent director and will assume the chairmanship of the Audit Committee. He replaces Olivier Rozenfeld who has resigned his seat after almost three years as an independent director.

The total number of directors now stands at ten, of which six are independent.


Consolidated accounts are available at

Results presentation for Analysts and Investors

Eutelsat Communications will hold an analysts and investors meeting in English on Friday 8 February 2013 to present its financial results for the half year 2012-2013. The meeting will take place at Group headquarters, 70 rue Balard, 75015 Paris, starting at 9.30am Paris time (welcome coffee at 8:45 am).

You can also follow this presentation, in English, by conference call on live. It can be accessed via the following telephone numbers:

  • +33 (0) 1 70 99 32 12 (from France)
  • +44 (0) 207 162 0177 (from the U.K.)
  • +1 334 323 6203 (from the United States)

Access code: 927620#

A replay of the call will be available from February 8, 2013 at 3:00pm (Paris time) to February 22, 2013 midnight (Paris time), by dialling:

  • + 33 (0) 1 70 99 35 29 (from France)
  • + 44 (0) 207 031 4064 (from the U.K.)
  • + 1 954 334 0342 (from the United States)

Access code: 927620#

There will be webcast live from the home page of the Investor Relations section at

Financial calendar

The financial calendar below is provided for information purposes only. It is subject to change and will be regularly updated. (Note:  financial releases are published after the close of the market on the day indicated)

  • May 7, 2013: financial report for third quarter ended March 31, 2013
  • July 30, 2013: earnings for the full year ended June 30, 2013
  • October 29, 2013: financial report for the first quarter ended September 30, 2013
  • November 7, 2013: Annual General Shareholders Meeting

About Eutelsat Communications (

Eutelsat Communications is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity commercialised on 30 satellites delivering reach of  Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, significant parts of the Americas and the Asia-Pacific, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading satellite operators. As of 31 December 2012 Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting almost 4,500 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group's satellites also provide a wide range of services for TV contribution, corporate networks and fixed and mobile broadband markets. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ over 780 commercial, technical and operational professionals from 30 countries.


Quarterly revenues by business application

                                        3 months ended
    In millions of
    euros           31/12/2011 31/03/2012 30/06/2012 30/09/2012 31/12/2012
    Applications         205.1      211.0      217.8      216.3      214.4
    Data &
    Services              58.2       57.9       59.3       61.1       63.8
    ...of which
    Data Services         46.8       45.0       44.9       44.9       48.8
    ...of which
    Services              11.4       12.9       14.3       16.2       15.0
    Multi-usage           38.2       37.0       35.0       34.1       38.6
    Other revenues         2.0        2.8      (1.1)        3.0        2.4
    Sub-total            303.6      308.7      311.1      314.4      319.2
    revenues               3.5          -          -          -          -
    Total                307.1      308.7      311.1      314.4      319.2

Change in net debt (in millions of euros)

                                               Half-year   Full-year   Half-year
                                                  ending      ending      ending
    Period ending                             31/12/2011  30/06/2012  31/12/2012
    Net cash flows from operating activities       333.2       697.2       406.8
    Capital expenditure                          (241.8)     (487.5)     (388.7)
    Insurance indemnity on property and
    equipment                                          -           -           -
    Operating free cash flows                       91.4       209.7        18.1
    Interest and other fees paid. net             (34.6)     (146.0)      (24.8)
    Acquisition of non-controlling interests       (0.8)       (2.5)           -
    Distributions to shareholders (including
    non-controlling interests)                   (223.8)     (227.2)     (228.1)
    Acquisition of treasury shares                 (3.1)       (9.9)         0.6
    Other                                         (10.9)         0.2       (5.2)
    Decrease (increase) in net debt              (181.8)     (175.7)     (239.4)

Channels at video neighbourhoods serving Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa

    Orbital position Markets                             31/12/2011 31/12/2012
    8degree(s) West  North Africa, Middle East                  493        618
    7degree(s) East  Turkey                                     210        216
                     Central Europe, Indian Ocean
    16degree(s) East islands                                    527        588
    36degree(s) East Russia, Africa                             697        743
    Total                                                     1,927      2,165

Estimated satellite launch schedule

                                Estimated launch
    Satellite                    (calendar year)        Transponders
    EUTELSAT 3D*                         Q2 2013               37 Ku
    EUTELSAT 25B**                       Q3 2013        16 Ku / 7 Ka
    Express AT2***                       H2 2013                8 Ku
    EUTELSAT 3B                          H1 2014      51 (Ku, Ka, C)
    EUTELSAT 9B                          H2 2014               60 Ku
    EUTELSAT 8 West B                    H1 2015        40 Ku / 10 C
    EUTELSAT 36C***                      H2 2015  Up to 70 (Ku & Ka)

Note: Satellites generally enter into service one to two months after launch.


** Partnership satellite with Qatar Satellite Company, transponders indicated for Eutelsat portion only

*** Partnership satellites with RSCC

SOURCE Eutelsat Communications