AsiaSat reports 2017 interim results

Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, Asia’s leading satellite operator, today announced its 2017 interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2017. Financial Highlights:  1H revenue maintained at HK$642 million (2016: HK$640 million)  Value of contracts on hand remained stable at around HK$4,076 million as at 30 June 2017 (31 December 2016: HK$4,067 million)  1H profit attributable to owners was HK$180 million (2016: HK$249 million). The decline was due to higher exchange losses, net finance expenses, staff costs and increased income tax expenses, mitigated by a one-off income arising from the resolution of a long pending tax matter related to the provision of services to a customer  New facilities of US$220 million secured, which replaced the US$240 million of bank borrowings of July 2015 with better terms, further strengthening the Group’s capital structure  Proposed interim dividend of HK$0.18 per share (2016: HK$ Nil per share)

Operational Highlights:  Utilisation of AsiaSat 4, AsiaSat 5, AsiaSat 6, AsiaSat 7 and AsiaSat 8 as of 30 June 2017 was 73% (31 December 2016: 67%, which excluding AsiaSat 8 which commenced service at 4ºW in late February 2017)  AsiaSat 9, a replacement for AsiaSat 4 at 122ºE and planned for launch at the end of September 2017, will offer additional capacity, wider high-power C-band coverage and new customised Ku-band beams for emerging markets such as Myanmar and Indonesia for Direct-to-Home (DTH), regional video distribution, private networks and broadband services  Progressing through the advanced planning stage for the design, procurement and launch of a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) carrying Ka-band capacity to meet increased demand for mobility-led data services  Growing roster of broadcast and data customers, with increased capacity use as a result of TV service upgrades from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD), expanding Occasional Use (OU) services for sports and news delivery, and data services in emerging markets in South East Asia AsiaSat’s Chairman, JU Wei Min, said, “The company entered 2017 with expectations consistent with our sales forecast developed over the previous six months. While net revenues were stable, new customers continue to be attracted by competitive pricing. Thanks to our longterm investments in assets and partnerships, demand for our broadcast services remains strong as we expand into regions still developing their economic and technical capacities.” “However, price pressures remain challenging in a highly competitive environment as a result of the cyclical over-supply of regional capacity and price expectations, particularly for data applications. For the data market there is the expectation that the new High Throughput Satellites (HTS) will lower the price for satellite capacity and even though this ubiquitous coverage from HTS satellite does not yet exist, in our markets, it is affecting our customers’ perceptions on pricing levels. The fact that HTS technology is not widely available in the market today and that it is not suitable for all applications or services has led to ongoing misconceptions as to future price levels.” “Nevertheless, we have seen increased demand for mobility-led data services (maritime and cellular backhaul) along with greater prospects for other Ka-band solutions for the aviation sector. In particular, the company has expanded its provision of capacity for China’s aviation market. Of all satellite operators providing inflight connectivity within China, AsiaSat provides the most capacity for this application, which is being used to serve several domestic and international airlines flying over China.”


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