Overall resilience but falling video orbit in Eutelsat H1 | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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In what the company says is a trading period that reflected its resilience in a Covid-19 impacted context, leading satellite operator Eutelsat is claiming a solid performance in its first half year even though revenues in its operating verticals fell 2.1% annually.
EutelsatHQ 29Oct2020
For the half-year ended 31 December 2020, total revenues stood at €629 million, with €613 million from the company’s five operating verticals. Excluding the Other Revenues accounting line, the fall would have been 1.3% on a reported basis and by 1.6% like-for-like. Overall second quarter revenues stood at €313 million down 1.8% on a reported basis and by 2.4% like-for- like. Q2 revenues of the five operating verticals stood at €306 million, down 2.4% year-on-year and by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter on a like-for-like basis.

Drilling down in to the key business lines, Eutelsat reported that first half revenues in its broadcast division, now accounting for 62% of revenues, were down 1.8% on a yearly basis to €379 million, reflecting predominantly, said the company, the impact from 1 July 2020 of the renegotiation of contract terms with Greece’s Forthnet. Second quarter revenues stood at €188 million down 2.1% year-on-year. On a sequential basis, they were down 0.9% and were stable excluding a positive one-off of circa €2 million booked in the first quarter.

In the Data & Professional Video segment, contributing 13% of total revenues, first half revenues were €81 million, down by 4.5% year-on-year. Professional Video remained in decline on a year-on-year basis although Occasional Use, which was initially strongly impacted by the Covid-related lockdowns, confirmed its recovery in the past few months following the reinstatement of live sports events.

As of 31 December 2020, the total number of channels broadcast by Eutelsat satellites stood at 6,608, down 3.9% year-on-year. However, HD penetration continued to increase, standing at 1,767 channels, up 10% compared with a year earlier, implying a penetration rate of 26.7% up from 23.3% a year earlier. On the commercial front, Eutelsat said that the African market remained dynamic with notably the expansion of the contract with Multichoice and the extension of the contract with ZAP, both operating at the 36°East orbital position. It also added that one of the key highlights in the first quarter was 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.

That said, Eutelsat did warn in the first half results that it continued to face a broad slowdown in the pace of new business against the current operating backdrop, notably in Europe, which it said would be reflected in the second half of the financial year.