Xtar Revenue Up, Losses Down in 2013

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PARIS — Government X-band satellite communications bandwidth provider Xtar LLC reported an 8 percent increase in revenue and reduced losses in 2013 compared with 2012, the company’s majority shareholder, Loral Space and Communications, said March 3.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, New York-based Loral, which owns 56 percent of Herndon, Va.-based Xtar, does not discuss the possible disposition of Xtar in the event Loral is successful in selling itself or its principal asset, commercial satellite fleet operator Telesat of Canada.

Hisdesat of Spain owns a minority share of Xtar, which sells capacity on two satellites — its own Xtar-Eur spacecraft at 29 degrees east and the Xtar-Lant payload on the Spanish Spainsat at 30 degrees west.

Xtar has struggled to meet payment obligations to Hisdesat in return for the Xtar-Lant capacity. Under previous agreements with Hisdesat, Xtar’s lease obligations to Hisdesat were $25 million in 2013. Similar but slightly higher payments are due until the expected retirement of Spainsat in 2022.

Xtar reported revenue of $35.3 million in 2013, up 8 percent from 2012. Its operating loss of $7.7 million was down from $11.3 million the previous year. The company listed total assets of $64.7 million and total liabilities, including a multiyear commitment to repay past lease obligations to Hisdesat, of $56.8 million.

Xtar satellites are compatible with the U.S. Air Force’s Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) system of spacecraft, which with allied government financial support is likely to result in a 10-satellite constellation.

Xtar recently raised its concern that the same U.S. government that wants to promote a commercial satellite offer to government users is effectively undermining the commercial providers by encouraging allied government investment in WGS.

 

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