Eutelsat Communications, a global satellite operator, based in Paris, has reported that it generated EUR 94.1 million in revenue from sales of its satellite services in Africa for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2021.
Eutelsat’s total revenues for the full year [FY] 2020-21 stood at EUR 1.234 billion, down 3.5% [EUR 1.278 billion] on a reported basis and by 2.9% like-for-like.
Revenues of the five Operating Verticals (i.e., excluding other revenues) stood at EUR 1.201 billion. They were down by 3.3% on a like-for-like basis, excluding a negative currency effect of circa 2.6 points and a broadly neutral perimeter effect with the consolidation of Bigblu Broadband Europe since 1st October 2020 offset by the disposal of Euro Broadband Infrastructure (EBI) on 30 April 2021.
Eutelsat’s total revenue across all geographical markets declined by 3.5% in FY 2020-21, and the company also recorded a 4.2% revenue decrease in Africa from the EUR 98.2 million reported in the previous year.
Commenting on the full-year results, Rodolphe Belmer, Chief Executive Officer of Eutelsat Communications, said, “FY 2020-21 was a solid year with revenues at the high end of our upwardly revised guidance, record-high cash generation and a further reduction in our Net Debt / EBITDA ratio. Major commercial highlights included, in broadcast, the Sky Italia renewal, reflecting the long-term relevance of satellite in Europe and two hosted payloads in government services. Furthermore, the year was a turning point for our connectivity business, in particular Fixed Broadband, with notably the entry into service of EUTELSAT KONNECT as well as major wholesale agreements with Telcos, Orange and TIM, for capacity on both EUTELSAT KONNECT and EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS”.
Rodolphe continued further, “Finally, Eutelsat accomplished a significant strategic move, gaining a foothold in the LEO segment through its investment in OneWeb. OneWeb represents an additional growth engine for our connectivity businesses with strong potential for cooperation thanks to the complementarity of resources and assets.
Looking ahead, Operating Verticals revenues for FY 2021-22 are expected to be between EUR 1.11 billion and EUR 1. 15 billion. They will subsequently return to growth from FY 2022-23 with acceleration in FY 2023-24 on the back of the entry into service of incremental assets with substantial firm precommitments. As a result, our Adjusted Discretionary Free Cash Flow objective for FY 2021-22 is raised by EUR 30 million with growth from FY 2022-23. We are also renewing our commitment to solid shareholder returns with a recommended dividend of EUR 0.93, up 5%, concluded Rodolphe”.
Key Events in the FY 2020-21
On 30 September 2020, Eutelsat finalised the acquisition of 100% of BigBlu Operations Ltd for a consideration of GBP 38 million (EUR 41.5 million). This acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy of developing its business in European satellite broadband.
On 30 April 2021, the Group finalised the sale of its equity interest in Euro Broadband Infrastructure Sàrl (EBI). Eutelsat signed an agreement to dispose of its 51% equity interest in EBI to Viasat Inc, a 49% shareholder in EBI. Under the agreement, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries continue to provide transitional services to EBI, including operating the ground network for KA SAT. In contrast, EBI will provide service continuity to the KA SAT subscriber base of Bigblu Broadband Europe, acquired by Eutelsat in October 2020.
On 27 April 2021, the Group agreed with OneWeb to acquire a circa 19% equity interest, thereby becoming one of this company’s principal shareholders alongside the UK government and Bharti Global. Eutelsat will invest USD 550 million, and the transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval.
The OneWeb constellation enjoys significant priority spectrum rights, backed by the International Telecommunication Union, and will operate 648 satellites in low orbit (LEO), offering low latency. As of 30 June 2021, this agreement has no material impact on the Group’s financial statements.
On 23 November 2020, following the entry into service of the Eutelsat Konnect satellite, the Group launched the Konnect retail distribution service. This next-generation of satellite broadband services across Europe and Africa is currently being rolled out across both continents, with broadband packages designed to address the needs of individuals, small & medium businesses, and institutions currently operating beyond the fibre footprint.
Two main contracts have notably been signed with European telecommunications operators concerning the capacity available in France and Italy.
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