Hispasat Profit Down Despite Strong Showing in the Americas

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LE BOURGET, France — Satellite fleet operator Hispasat of Spain on June 20 reported higher revenue but lower profit in 2012 compared with 2011 and said its business in the Americas now surpasses its European revenue.

For Hispasat, the American focus principally means Latin America, where revenue increased 13.8 percent in 2012. The region in general, and Brazil in particular, stands in contrast to a generally flat European market for satellite bandwidth.

Madrid-based Hispasat in 2012 operated two Americas-focused Amazonas satellites at 61 degrees west and three Hispasat satellites at 30 degrees west. Earlier this year the company placed its Amazonas 3 satellite into service, introducing nine Ka-band spot beams to the Latin American audience in what was a first for the South American market.

The arrival of Amazonas 3 at 61 degrees west enabled Hispasat to move the Amazonas 1 spacecraft to a new location at 36 degrees west.

Hispasat has three satellites on order and said its investment program in 2012 was a record 168.2 million euros ($222.3 million). Perhaps to erase any doubt about the company’s ambition, Hispasat took the unusual step of headlining its capital investment, not its revenue or profit, in its financial statement.

Hispasat said it has invested more than 712 million euros in the past six years and that it expects to spend nearly 300 million euros between 2013 and 2016 on the new satellites.

Revenue for 2012 totaled 200.3 million euros, up 6.9 percent from 2011. EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was 80.4 percent of revenue, a level among the highest among commercial fleet operators but down from 82.5 percent a year ago.

Pretax profit, at 68.7 million euros, was down 7.5 percent from 2011, Hispasat said.