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Intelsat Grows Q2 Revenues, Cuts Losses

Satellite operator Intelsat, Ltd. reported revenues for the second quarter ending June 30, 2009 of $642.5 million, up over 9% from revenues of $584.9 million in the same period last year, while its net loss for the quarter narrowed to $32.7 million, compared to $82 million last year.

For the first six months of fiscal 2009, Intelsat reported revenues of $1.274 billion and a net loss of $590.4 million, compared to revenues of $1.157 billion and a net loss of $494.6 billion for the same period in 2008. The company said the net loss reflects in part non-cash charges of $499.1 million incurred in the first quarter of 2009 for orbital location impairments.

Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade said that demand in both its networks services and government business remains strong, though pricing for its transponder capacity was mostly flat on a global basis. He also cited some lease renewals in Intelsat’s media business that significantly increased Intelsat’s “backlog”, which is expected future revenue through long-term customer contracts. The company is currently in the process of building 11 new satellites that will be launched over the next three years.

“In the second quarter we entered into a significant long-term renewal in our media business, underscoring the value of our satellite neighborhoods and contributing to an increase in our backlog to $9.5 billion at June 30, 2009 from $8.7 billion at the end of the first quarter,” said McGlade. “This growth in backlog reinforces the overall strength of our business across our customer sets, while also providing attractive visibility on future revenues and cash flows.”

Highlights for the quarter included a long-term deal with African direct-to-home (DTH) television services provider Multichoice to extend and expand its existing agreement for capacity on the Intelsat 7 satellite, and a renewal with Japanese broadcaster NHK for additional capacity to deliver high-definition news and entertainment programming.