[SatNews] Mr. Gregory M. Zeluck, the Chairman of AsiaSat, is reporting that “The first six months of 2015 were challenging for AsiaSat and the satellite sector as a whole.
"The Company does not expect significant positive change in the market environment in the second half. Due to delays in licensing approvals, it is taking longer than expected to lease out the transponder capacity of AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 8 while the depreciation of both satellites will commence in the second half of the year. A modest percentage of the Company revenues are denominated in Renminbi (RMB).
"Should the recent volatility of the RMB continue, such will have a negative impact on the second half performance. In addition, the added interest expenses arising from the AsiaSat 6 and 8 E -Im loans and the bank loan raised for the special interim dividend payment will impinge on the earnings of the Company in the second half of the year.
“Despite these challenges, we are optimistic about our prospects for the future, as we operate in one of the world’s growth markets. We remain vigilant in developing effective business strategies in a rapidly evolving market, where AsiaSat, with its new capacity on line continues to be well-positioned to capture the region’s various growth opportunities. Our reputation as a trusted provider of premium satellite services is firmly established in the region.
"With the support of a new major shareholder (The Carlyle Group, replacing General Electric Company), the Company continues to focus on incorporating new technologies and applications while offering comprehensive solutions to our valued clients. Operating under a vibrant new brand that is more attuned to developing trends, the Company is committed to maintaining and growing AsiaSat’s strong position in the region while delivering improved returns to our shareholders ,” Mr. Zeluck concluded.
Some operational highlights include:
- A strategic restructure of the sales and marketing teams to refocus the company’s efforts on key Asian and global markets
- The rebranding exercise announced in March 2015 continuing with the momentum for change to improve services to clients
- Construction of AsiaSat 9, AsiaSat 4’s replacement, remains on track for completion in Q4 2016. This new satellite will add additional capacity at 122 degrees East
- Overall utilization rate of AsiaSat 4, AsiaSat 5 and AsiaSat 7 stood at 72 percent
- 1H turnover of HK$641 million, down 8 percent when compared to same period last year, primarily due
- to lower short term revenue generated in the current period
- Contracts on hand as at 30 June 2015 valued at HK$3,645 million
- 1H profit attributable to equity holders of HK$250 million, compared to HK$283 million in the same period last year. The decline was mainly the result of lower revenue, partially mitigated by the lower depreciation charge
- Interim dividend of HK$0.18 per share, the same as last year. A special dividend of HK$11.89 per share was paid on July 30, 2015, to registered shareholders