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February 23, 2010

Eutelsat to launch with W3B with Arianespace

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by Rapid TV News

Website: Rapid TV News

It seems like only yesterday that Eutelsat was being criticised by the French authorities for choosing to launch its W3B satellite upon a Chinese rocket, bypassing Arianespace.

W3B was due to be lifted into orbit by a Chinese Long March rocket. Eutelsat has now changed its mind. W3B will now launch with Arianespace, but Eutelsat is far from abandoning its Chinese chums.

Instead, Eutelsat will use a Long March rocket to launch its W3C craft, during Q3 next year.

The news came during Eutelsat’s financial results, which went down extremely well with financial analysts. As we reported last week Eutelsat has raised its guidance for the next few years, and suggesting to the market that Eutelsat can now expect revenues during this financial year (ending in June) of better than €1.02bn.

Eutelsat’s CEO, Michel de Rosen, presenting his first set of results in his new job, said that neither Asia and North America were as profitable as Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. But he said that Asia offered room for substantial growth, which is why Eutelsat will be much more active in the region.

“I don’t think there is any gap [in our fleet] that is a problem for Eutelsat,” de Rosen said last Thursday. “We are demonstrating the growth potential in Europe, meaning to the Urals, as well as the Middle East and Africa. We are not looking to be the biggest satellite operator, so don’t think we will focus less on organic growth. Outside our core region, we are looking east more than west.”

“All of Eutelsat’s demand drivers are robust,” said investment bankers Morgan Stanley in its note to investors. “We continue to believe that Eutelsat has significant relative upside. Moreover, we think Eutelsat will continue to perform strongly in both operational and financial terms, and that it offers investors a relatively unique combination of both growth and low cyclical risk,” said the bank.

Story link: Eutelsat to launch with W3B with Arianespace

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