Eutelsat: investment returns in Africa
Reporting on the first six months of its 2013-2014 year, Eutelsat said that it experienced growth notably at 16 degrees East (addressing Central Europe, Indian Ocean Islands, sub-Saharan Africa) and 36 degrees East (addressing Russia and sub-Saharan Africa).
Capacity sales at the 7 degrees/8 degrees West neighbourhood (addressing the Middle East and North Africa) also benefited from resources added with the redeployment in mid-September of Eutelsat 8 West C (formerly Hot Bird 13A) to this position.
A number of contracts announced during first half reflect sustained demand in video markets:
At 7/8 degrees West: one 72 MHz transponder signed with Telediffusion d’Algerie on the Eutelsat 7 West A satellite;
At 7 degrees East: a long-term contract concluded with Azam Media for 108 MHz of capacity on the Eutelsat 7A satellite, to broadcast a new pan-African pay-TV platform;
“The performance of Data was more than offset by the growing contribution from Value-Added Services which is benefiting from our new commercial impetus. Multi-usage revenues held up well thanks to the integration of Eutelsat 172 A and new contracts,” said Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat Communications, in a statement adding “Our deployment plan for the remainder of the current and coming two years will bring additional capacity that will principally serve video markets in the fastest growing regions, notably Latin America, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.”.
Despite the integration of EUTELSAT 172A into the fleet (acquisition closed on 25 September 2012), Data Services revenues declined by 10.5% to €83.8 million, reflecting:
The on-going competitive environment as point-to-point services remain under pressure from the roll-out of terrestrial networks and, specifically in Africa, from the existing supply of satellite capacity;
Growing interest in the Middle East and North African markets already helped Eutelsat Communications deliver solid results in its first financial quarter of 2012-13.
The Paris-based operator has been developing its 7 degrees/8 degrees West video neighbourhood. One of the most dynamic positions in the Eutelsat portfolio it has seen a 37% increase in TV channels year-on-year to reach 587.
Capacity was expanded in 2011 following the launch of Eutelsat 7 West A. It was further increased in 2013 by redeployment to 8 degrees West.