Telenor’s Third-quarter Results Hammered Flat by Retirement of Thor 2 Satellite

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting of Norway on Oct. 31 reported increased revenue from network and data services customers and flat broadcast demand for the three months ending Sept. 30.

Oslo-based Telenor said the rising data revenue was offset by the definitive retirement in January of the Thor 2 satellite, which had found a second life after its initial removal from service through a one-year lease to fleet operator SES of Luxembourg.

The absence of the Thor 2 revenue canceled the gain from data customers when compared with Telenor’s revenue a year ago. For the three months ending Sept. 30, Telenor reported revenue of 241 million Norwegian kroner ($40.2 million), which was flat from a year ago. EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was 71 percent of revenue, also flat from a year ago.

Telenor has two of its own satellites and one shared with Intelsat of Luxembourg and Washington, all at Telenor’s 1 degree west location. The company said it is transferring some of its existing capacity to take advantage of the growth in demand from energy and maritime markets in Telenor’s coverage area, which includes the North and Baltic seas, and the Mediterranean.

Telenor is entering the fast-growing Ka-band high-throughput-satellite market with the Thor 7 satellite, a mixed Ku- and Ka-band spacecraft under construction by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., and scheduled for launch in mid-2014.

Telenor said Thor 7 would provide an eightfold increase in the network and data capacity now available to the company at 1 degree west. Thor 7’s Ka-band payload will provide 9 gigabits per second of throughput across 25 spot beams.

Telenor in early October contracted with iDirect of Herndon Va., to provide the Thor 7 ground hubs. Telenor said using the iDirect technology will allow Telenor customers to roam between Ku- and Ka-band coverage, and in and out of Telenor’s satellite footprint.

Telenor expects Thor 7 to provide increased revenue from energy exploration, maritime and aeronautical markets.

 

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