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Satellite Operator Financial Analysis, 3rd Edition

In its third edition, NSR's Satellite Operator Financial Analysis (SOFA3) report provides a comprehensive picture of satellite telecom industry from a financial standpoint. By presenting both standalone company data and comparative metrics across many operators, SOFA3 provides both absolute and relative assessments to satellite operators in quantitative areas such as revenues, EBITDA, and CAPEX, as well as qualitative areas such as fill rates, TPE leasing revenues and costs, and revenues per employee. Combining metrics from 25 different operators, NSR's SOFA3 sifts through the most recent financial data to allow readers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the financial side of the satellite industry.

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SOFA3 assesses operator financial statements through H1 2013, and provides answers and insights to key questions in the financial realm of the industry, including:


  • Which operators have successfully managed to translate an increase in revenues to an increase in EBITDA margins ?
  • Can some regional operators continue to see higher per-TPE revenues than global operators , due to localization, specialization, and in some cases economies of scale?
  • Are operators who focus on HTS solutions beginning to see an improvement in their bottom line as these satellites continue to gain traction ?
  • Does a large backlog indicate lower per-TPE revenues, due to long-term leases commanding cheaper rates?
  • Which operators are most likely to enter new CAPEX cycles in the near future , based on current fleet age?
  • Can regional operators continue to overcome the economies of scale of global players , and continue to compete on financial terms?
  • BOTTOM LINE: Which operators possess the best overall financial health today? Which operators are improving their position, and at the expense of which competitors ?

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The NSR Difference:

Building on our two previous SOFA reports, NSR provides an objective and comprehensive analysis of the financial health and trajectories of satellite operators worldwide . With improved quality of data due to an increase in reporting operators, and new metrics to better show future trends, SOFA3 allows the reader to gain a comprehensive understanding of industry financial analytics, and how each operator stands relative to the competition in these analytics.

With considerable depth and breadth of financial data, NSR's SOFA3 combines quantitative operator information with qualitative metrics and industry interviews to paint a thorough picture of today's financial landscape. Drawing data from extensive databases, the report proves an excellent guide for anyone looking to gain a more thorough and objective understanding of the financial aspects of a multi-billion dollar industry .

As large-scale global operators continue to fight for global market share, their advantages of economies of scale are clashing head-on with the regional specialization provided by smaller-scale operators, leading to continued surprises in metrics such as Revenues per Leased TPE. Will this dynamic continue, or will superior cost control and broader coverage options eventually allow the "Big Four" to win out ? Alternatively, will regional operators continue to leverage their specialized coverage and localized knowledge to provide more parity to the industry ? The report examines these crucial questions through analysis of recent trends and up-to-date financial data.

By looking at available financial data through both standalone and comparative scopes, and by presenting data from 2007 until H1 2013, NSR's Satellite Operator Financial Analysis (SOFA), 3rd Edition , provides not only answers to relevant questions in the financial realm of the satellite telecommunications industry today, but also a complete look at the evolution of the answers to these questions over the past several years .

Key Features

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The report includes the following primary elements:

  • Standalone operator financial analysis, coupled with operator rankings by metric
  • Financial data from FY2007 until H1 2013 (for applicable operators)
  • Statistical analysis of relative metrics, such as per-TPE leasing revenues, providing more accurate comparisons across operators of different sizes
  • CAPEX cycle information including assessment of possible future CAPEX
  • Assessment of the liquidity and current financial health of operators through metrics such as Times Interest Earned, Annual CAPEX/Cash Flow, and EBIDTA to Cash Conversion ratios
  • Global revenues and subsequent operator market shares

Who Should Purchase this Report:

  • National, Regional, and Global Satellite Operators
  • Satellite Service Providers and Integrators
  • Banks, Financial Institutions, and Other Investors
  • Satellite Manufacturers and Launchers
  • Satellite Equipment Manufacturers
  • Regulators and Agencies Funding Telecom Research and Development
  • Space Agencies

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Comparative Metrics for Satellite Operators

  • 2.1. Operations
    • 2.1.1. Revenues
    • 2.1.2. EBITDA/Adj. EBIDTA & EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Margin
    • 2.1.3. Commercialized Transponders & Fill rates
    • 2.1.4. Annual Revenues per Leased TPE
    • 2.1.5. Annual OPEX per Leased TPE
    • 2.1.6. Annual Revenues per Employee
    • 2.1.7. Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite
    • 2.1.8. Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues
    • 2.1.9. Average Age of Satellite Fleet
  • 2.2. Debt Position and Solvency
    • 2.2.1. Net Debt to EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA
    • 2.2.2. Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio
    • 2.2.3. Times Interest Earned
    • 2.2.4. Summary Debt Position and Solvency
  • 2.3. CAPEX and Cash Generation
    • 2.3.1. Annual CAPEX
    • 2.3.2. Annual CAPEX to Cash Flow from Operating Activities
    • 2.3.3. Annual CAPEX to Revenues
    • 2.3.4. EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio
    • 2.3.5. Free Cash Flow

3. General Metrics for Satellite Operators

  • 3.1. Operations
    • 3.1.1. Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite
    • 3.1.2. Annual Revenues per Leased Transponder
    • 3.1.3. Annual Revenues per Employee
    • 3.1.4. EBIDTA/Adj. EBITDA Margins
    • 3.1.5. Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio
  • 3.2. Debt Position and Solvency
    • 3.2.1. Net Debt to EBIDTA/Adj. EBITDA Ratio
    • 3.2.2. Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio
  • 3.3. CAPEX and Cash Generation
    • 3.3.1. Total CAPEX to Cash Flow from Operating Activities Ratio
    • 3.3.2. Total CAPEX to Annual Revenues Ratio

4. Standalone Operator Analysis

  • 4.1. Fully Reporting Operators
    • 4.1.1. Intelsat
    • 4.1.2. SES
    • 4.1.3. Eutelsat
    • 4.1.4. Telesat
    • 4.1.5. AsiaSat
    • 4.1.6. APT Satellite
    • 4.1.7. Satmex
  • 4.2. Partially Reporting Operators
    • 4.2.1. SKY Perfect JSAT
    • 4.2.2. StarOne
    • 4.2.3. Thaicom
    • 4.2.4. Hispasat
    • 4.2.5. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting
    • 4.2.6. Amos-Spacecom
    • 4.2.7. Avanti Communications

Appendix- Operator Metrics

List of Exhibits

1. Executive Summary

  • 1.1. Financial Metrics Assessed
  • 1.2. FSS Operators Assessed
  • 1.3. 2011 & 2012 FSS Operators Revenues, (US$ M)
  • 1.4. Average Annual Revenues per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 1.5. APT Satellite EBITDA and EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013

2. Comparative Metrics for Satellite Operators

  • 2.1. 2012 FSS Operator Revenues (US$ M), "Big Four"
  • 2.2. 2011 & 2012 FSS Operator Revenues (US$ M)
  • 2.3. 2011 & 2012 Regional FSS Operator Revenues (US$ M)
  • 2.4. 2011 & 2012 EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA (US$ M)
  • 2.5. 2011 & 2012 EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Margin
  • 2.6. 2011 & 2012 Commercialized TPEs
  • 2.7. 2011 & 2012 Fill Rates
  • 2.8. 2011 & 2012 Annual Revenues per Leased TPE (US$ M)
  • 2.9. 2011 & 2012 OPEX per Leased TPE (US$ M)
  • 2.10. 2011 & 2012 Average Annual Revenues per Employee (US$ M)
  • 2.11. 2011 & 2012 Average Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite (US$ M)
  • 2.12. 2011 & 2012 Backlog (US$ M)
  • 2.13. 2011 & 2012 Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio
  • 2.14. 2011 & 2012 Average Age of Satellite Fleet (Years)
  • 2.15. 2011 & 2012 Net Debt to EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Ratio
  • 2.16. 2011 & 2012 Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio
  • 2.17. 2011 & 2012 Times Interest Earned Ratio
  • 2.18. 2011 & 2012 Annual CAPEX (US$ M)
  • 2.19. 2011 & 2012 Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio
  • 2.20. 2011 & 2012 Total CAPEX to Annual Revenues Ratio
  • 2.21. 2011 & 2012 EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio
  • 2.22. 2011 & 2012 Free Cash Flow (US$ M)

3. General Metrics for Satellite Operators

  • 3.1. Ave. Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 3.2. Ave. Annual Revenues per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 3.3. Ave. Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 3.4. EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Margins, 2007-2012
  • 3.5. Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.6. Average Age of Satellite Fleet Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.7. Net Debt to EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.8. Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.9. Total CAPEX to Cash Flow from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.10. Total CAPEX to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 3.11. EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-2012

4. Standalone Operator Analysis

  • 4.1. Intelsat Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.2. Intelsat Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.3. Intelsat Adj. EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.4. Intelsat Free Cash Flow, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.5. Intelsat Adj. EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.6. Intelsat Times Interest Earned Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.7. Intelsat Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.8. Intelsat Annual CAPEX, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.9. Intelsat Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.10. Intelsat Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.11. Intelsat Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.12. Intelsat Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.13. Intelsat Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.14. Intelsat Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.15. Intelsat Net Debt to Adj. EBITDA Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.16. Intelsat Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.17. SES Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.18. SES Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.19. SES EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.20. SES Free Cash Flow, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.21. SES EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.22. SES Times Interest Earned Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.23. SES Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.24. SES Annual CAPEX, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.25. SES Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.26. SES Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.27. SES Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.28. SES Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.29. SES Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.30. SES Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.31. SES Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.32. SES Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.33. Eutelsat Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.34. Eutelsat Revenues, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.35. Eutelsat EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.36. Eutelsat Free Cash Flow, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.37. Eutelsat EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.38. Eutelsat Times Interest Earned Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.39. Eutelsat Backlog & Years of Backlog to Revenues Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.40. Eutelsat Annual CAPEX, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.41. Eutelsat CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.42. Eutelsat Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.43. Eutelsat Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.44. Eutelsat Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.45. Eutelsat Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.46. Eutelsat Annual Revenues per Employee, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.47. Eutelsat Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.48. Eutelsat Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, FY 2007/08- FY 2012/13
  • 4.49. Telesat Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.50. Telesat Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.51. Telesat Adj. EBITDA/Adj. EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.52. Telesat Free Cash Flow, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.53. Telesat EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.54. Telesat Times Interest Earned Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.55. Telesat Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2008-H1 2013
  • 4.56. Telesat Annual CAPEX, 2007-2012
  • 4.57. Telesat Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.58. Telesat Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.59. Telesat Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.60. Telesat Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.61. Telesat Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.62. Telesat Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.63. Telesat Net Debt to Adj. EBITDA Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.64. Telesat Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.65. AsiaSat Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.66. AsiaSat Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.67. AsiaSat EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.68. AsiaSat Free Cash Flow, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.69. AsiaSat EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.70. AsiaSat Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.71. AsiaSat Annual CAPEX, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.72. AsiaSat Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.73. AsiaSat Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.74. AsiaSat Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.75. AsiaSat Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.76. AsiaSat Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.77. AsiaSat Annual Revenues per Employee, HK$, 2007-2012
  • 4.78. AsiaSat Annual Revenues per Employee, US$, 2007-2012
  • 4.79. APT Satellite Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.80. APT Satellite Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.81. APT Satellite EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.82. APT Satellite Free Cash Flow, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.83. APT Satellite EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.84. APT Satellite Times Interest Earned Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.85. APT Satellite Annual CAPEX, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.86. APT Satellite Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.87. APT Satellite Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.88. APT Satellite Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.89. APT Satellite Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.90. APT Satellite Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.91. APT Satellite Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.92. APT Satellite Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.93. APT Satellite Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.94. Satmex Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.95. Satmex Revenues, 2007-2012
  • 4.96. Satmex EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2007-2012
  • 4.97. Satmex Free Cash Flow, 2007-2012
  • 4.98. Satmex EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.99. Satmex Times Interest Earned Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.100. Satmex Backlog & Years of Backlog to Annual Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.101. Satmex Annual CAPEX, 2007-2012
  • 4.102. Satmex Total CAPEX to Cash Flows from Operating Activities Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.103. Satmex Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.104. Satmex Commercialized TPEs & Fill Rates, 2007-2012
  • 4.105. Satmex Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.106. Satmex Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.107. Satmex Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.108. Satmex Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.109. Satmex Long-Term Debt to Total Assets Ratio, 2007-2012
  • 4.110. SKY Perfect JSAT Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.111. SKY Perfect JSAT Revenues, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.112. SKY Perfect JSAT EBIT/EBIT Margin, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.113. SKY Perfect JSAT Annual CAPEX, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.114. SKY Perfect JSAT Total CAPEX to Revenues Ratio, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.115. SKY Perfect JSAT Revenues per Operational Satellite, JPY, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.116. SKY Perfect JSAT Revenues per Operational Satellite, US$, FY2007-FY2012
  • 4.117. SKY Perfect JSAT Annual Revenues & Cost per Leased TPE, 2007-2012
  • 4.118. StarOne Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.119. StarOne Revenues, 2007-2012
  • 4.120. StarOne EBIT/EBIT Margin, 2007-2012
  • 4.121. StarOne Free Cash Flow, 2007-2012
  • 4.122. StarOne Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.123. StarOne Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.124. Thaicom Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.125. Thaicom Revenues, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.126. Thaicom Revenues by Type, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.127. Thaicom Revenues by Type, 100% Depiction, 2007-H1 2013
  • 4.128. Thaicom Revenues Breakdown, 2007 vs. 2012
  • 4.129. Thaicom Conventional Satellite Transponder & Fill Rates, 2007-2012 222
  • 4.130. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, Thai Baht, 2007-2012
  • 4.131. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, US$, 2007-2012 223
  • 4.132. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Leased Transponder, Thai Baht, 2007-2012
  • 4.133. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Leased Transponder, US$, 2007-2012
  • 4.134. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Employee, Thai Baht, 2009-2012
  • 4.135. Thaicom Annual Revenues per Employee, US$, 2009-2012
  • 4.136. Hispasat Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.137. Hispasat Revenues, 2010-2012
  • 4.138. Hispasat EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2010-2012
  • 4.139. Hispasat Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2010-2012
  • 4.140. Hispasat Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, 2010-2012
  • 4.141. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.142. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting Revenues, 2010-2012
  • 4.143. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, 2010-2012
  • 4.144. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2010-2012
  • 4.145. Amos-Spacecom Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.146. Amos-Spacecom Revenues, 2007-2012
  • 4.147. Amos-Spacecom Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, 2007-2012
  • 4.148. Amos-Spacecom Annual Revenues per Employee, 2007-2012
  • 4.149. Avanti Communications Ranking by Metric, 2012
  • 4.150. Avanti Communications Revenues, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.151. Avanti Communications EBITDA/EBITDA Margin, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.152. Avanti Communications Free Cash Flow, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.153. Avanti Communications Backlog & Years of Backlog to Revenues, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.154. Avanti Communications Annual Revenues per Operational Satellite, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.155. Avanti Communications Annual Revenues per Employee, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.156. Avanti Communications Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.157. Avanti Communications Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.158. Avanti Communications Times Interest Earned Ratio, FY2011-FY2013
  • 4.159. Avanti Communications EBITDA to Cash Conversion Ratio, FY2011-FY2013
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