Satnews Daily
September 30th, 2014

NSR's Operational Financials + Fundamental Transformations...Huge Potentials

[SatNews] ..."we will see a divergence between the haves and have-nots of the sector, and long-term, extensive consolidation..."

NSR's Satellite Operator Financial Analysis (SOFA), 4th Edition, just published, finds that operational efficiency is more important than ever for satellite operators, with many taking a multi-pronged approach to increasing productivity—this trend is not limited to acquisitions, but also extends to HTS payloads being launched.

"We are seeing a fundamental transformation within the satellite telecommunications industry. Economies of scale the likes of which we have never seen, powered by not only M&A but also HTS payloads delivering previously unimagined throughput, will have an immense impact upon the financial dynamics of the industry moving forward," states Blaine Curcio, Senior Analyst and report author. "The impetus is now on the Big Four to capitalize on their increased efficiencies— and on the regional players to further diversify their value propositions—without this combination, we will see a divergence between the haves and have-nots of the sector, and long-term, extensive consolidation," adds Curcio.

An example of this phenomenon of huge potential for HTS payloads would be Avanti Communications, which is covered extensively in the report. Avanti currently has a fleet of three satellites plus one on order, and the company has publicly stated these satellites are capable of generating revenues of up to $700M——this would make them the 5th largest operator in the world by revenue, despite having only three dedicated satellites and ARTEMIS, an ESA-purposed satellite. Big revenues? Yes. Big fleet? Absolutely not.

Beyond this phenomenon, 2013 was an inflection point in terms of satellite operators. In recent years, NSR’s past SOFA analyses noted regional players seeing faster growth rates than the Big Four. 2013 changed that in a big way, with Eutelsat’s acquisition of Satmex leading the way for the Big Four to seeing nearly 5 percent revenue growth, compared to nearly 4 percent revenue decline for “everyone else”. The fastest growth was again seen by the top regional operators, with companies such as Arabsat, APT Satellite, and Avanti setting the pace. However, unlike 2012, two of the Big Four saw nearly 10 percent growth rates, with SES and Eutelsat benefiting from currency fluctuations and Eutelsat'’s acquisition of Satmex, and as such seeing their collective revenues increase by nearly $400M in 2013.

For more information regarding this in-depth report, please visit