Spain’s GMV Banks on U.S. for Future Growth

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Satellite ground systems provider GMV of Spain reported a 4 percent increase in revenue in 2009 and has high hopes for the company’s U.S. division, the company’s general manager for aerospace, Jorge Potti, said.

The Madrid-based company, whose U.S. division is headquartered in Rockville, Md., said 13 scientific and commercial satellites using its technology, often flight dynamics or payload dynamics software, were launched in 2009.

In an interview, Potti said GMV reported 95 million euros ($136 million) in sales in 2009, a 4 percent increase, and that its space-infrastructure business accounted for slightly more than half of the revenue. This division also grew by about 4 percent in 2009.

In the United States, GMV is providing ground-segment support for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Observer, launched in mid-2009, and for the Landsat Earth observation spacecraft. In Europe, the company’s technology is used on the European Space Agency’s Herschel and Planck science missions. Commercial satellites launched in 2009 that use GMV control and monitoring systems include NSS-12 for SES of Luxembourg and Thor 6 for Telenor of Norway.

Potti said GMV’s U.S. business “has a strong potential for growth” in the coming years and currently represents 10 to 15 percent of the company’s revenue.

The downturn in the Spanish economy and pressure on government spending have not caused any serious reduction in Spain’s space spending, Potti said. Spain is building optical and radar Earth observation satellites and GMV will be providing part of the ground segment for both spacecraft, Potti said.

In 2010, GMV will be competing for work on several commercial telecommunications satellites expected to be ordered, including Amazonas 3 for Spain’s Hispasat, Turksat 4A and Turksat 4B for Turkey’s national satellite operator, and a possible national satellite program, Azersat, in Azerbaijan.