SSTL Revenues and Profit Down Sharply

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  Space News Business

SSTL Revenues and Profit Down Sharply

By PETER B. de SELDING
Space News Staff Writer
posted: 22 February 2007
03:21 pm ET


PARIS — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) reported a sharp decline in revenue and profit for the year ending July 31 as expected new orders were delayed and the company’s work on a European navigation satellite was completed, Guildford, England-based SSTL said Feb. 15.

The small-satellite specialist said it expects to return to growth this year, however, as new Earth-observation and technology-demonstration satellites are delivered, SSTL Senior Account Manager Phil Davies said.

For the year ending July 31, SSTL reported a profit of 500,000 British pounds ($976,165) on sales of 21 million pounds. The profit figure was down 58 percent from a year earlier. The revenue decline was 16.7 percent.

The year represented an unprecedented pause in SSTL’s growth. The company has built 26 small satellites for civil, military and commercial customers representing most of the major spacefaring nations, and has reported steady growth in revenues and profit.

The SSTL-built Giove-A navigation satellite, intended to reserve radio frequencies for Europe’s future Galileo satellite navigation system, was launched in December 2005. SSTL has been vying for additional work on the navigation program but has yet to secure any from the consortium of larger satellite manufacturers building the next five Galileo test satellites.

For the fiscal year ending next July 31, SSTL expects to report revenues of 32 million pounds, a 52 percent increase, and a backlog of 43 million pounds.

The company, which is 80 percent owned by the University of Surrey, 10 percent by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of the United States and 10 percent by SSTL staff, has eight satellites in various stages of construction.

The satellites include five commercial Earth observation spacecraft for RapidEye AG of Germany. Also under construction is a medium-resolution Earth observation satellite for Deimos of Spain, to be part of the SSTL-managed Disaster Monitoring Constellation; the Nigeriasat-2 Earth observation satellite for the Nigerian government; and the U.S. Department of Energy’s CFE-SAT research satellite , which is scheduled for launch in the coming weeks aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.