Video slips back in Eutelsat first quarter | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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The continued headwinds in the satellite broadcast market in general have blown into leading operator Eutelsat with revenues slipping back in the first quarter of its financial year.
EutelsatHQ 29Oct2020
For the quarter ended 30 September 2020, the overall Eutelsat business posted total revenues of €315.3 million, inching back 0.7% on a reported basis year-on-year and 0.8% like-for-like. Operating Verticals revenues totalled €307 million, down 1.9% like-for-like compared with the same time in 2019. The broadcast business continued into a lower orbit, with revenues of €190.6 million, dropping 2.1% on a reported basis and 1.5% like-for-like compared with Q1 2019.

Yet despite this, Eutelsat said that the first quarter results confirmed solidity of the broadcast division. It noted that during the three-month period, revenues were impacted by the impact from July 2020 of the renegotiation of contract terms with Greece’s Forthnet. They include a positive one-off of circa €2 million. At 30 September 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, the Mbps consumption is stable year-on-year.

On the commercial front in the broadcast business line, the operator inked a multi-year agreement 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. And even though it accepted that it was experiencing a broad slowdown in the pace of new business against the current operating backdrop, it added that the quarter had seen the extension in duration of existing contracts with Russia’s Tricolor TV and with Azam TV in Sub-Saharan Africa and new contracts with BluTV, for a new DTH platform in Brazil and with Switzerland’s Kabelio for a new DTH platform at the HOTBIRD orbital position.

Commenting on the overall picture after the first quarter results, Eutelsat Communications chief executive officer said: “Eutelsat has made a solid start to the year, with Operating Verticals revenues in line with expectations and a backlog of €4.4 billion, up 3% year-on-year. 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 Eutelsat confirmed its financial objectives for the current year and subsequent year.