Intelsat narrows losses

Staff writer
11 Mar 2010

Intelsat, the world’s oldest satellite firm, continues to be mired in debt, despite record sales and high margins.

The firm narrowed its losses in 2009, but more than half of its revenue was used to pay down interest expense.

It reported a full-year net loss of $781.7 million – up from $1.98 billion in 2008 - on 6% higher revenue of $2.5 billion. It notched up ebitda of $1.4 billion, or 55% of revenue, but spent $1.36 billion on interest repayments.

Its quarterly net loss narrowed to $97 million from $524 million in 2008. Interest expense fell 8% quarter on quarter to $335 million. Revenue for the quarter rose 2% to $620.8 million – its highest ever, said CEO David McGlade.

The company has assets of $17.3 billion and long-term debts of $15.2 billion, and a book value of –$211 million.

During the year the operator moved its headquarters from Bermuda to Luxembourg, which offered “a stable jurisdiction that is familiar with the fixed satellite services sector.”

McGlade said Intelsat had launched three satellites since November and has another ten expected to launch by the end of 2012. The Intelsat New Dawn is likely to launch in late 2010.

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