AsiaSat Post Higher Profits But Concerned About Chinese Business
[08/24/07 – Satellite Today] Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. (AsiaSat) posted revenues of 461 million Hong Kong dollars ($59 million) in the first half of 2007, down from 475 million Hong Kong dollars ($60.8 million) in the same period a year ago, the company announced Aug. 23.
AsiaSat posted a profit of $247 million Hong Kong dollars ($31.6 million), up slightly from a profit of 239 million Hong Kong dollars ($30.6 million) in the first half of 2006.
“The uplift in AsiaSat’s half-year performance was encouraging after a few years of sluggish trading in the Asian satellite sector amid a general economic strengthening across the region,” Mi Zeng Xin, AsiaSat’s chairman, said in a statement. “This endorsed our commitment to customer services and relationships through that difficult period in anticipation of the market turnaround. Indeed, we have maintained our market leadership; remain debt-free and are committed to the future of satellite communication in the Asia-Pacific region.”
While optimistic, AsisSat raised a concern about its business with Chinese TV broadcasters following the launch of a pair of spacecraft — Sinosat 3 and ChinaSat 6B, both placed into orbit over the summer. The spacecraft pose “a very real threat to AsiaSat’s business,” the company said. “ … When they become commercially operational in the next few months, Chinese television broadcasters currently transmitting via AsiaSat’s satellites may switch to these new satellites. If that occurs, it will have an adverse impact on the Company’s revenue as contracts with Chinese television broadcasters accounted for approximately 8.8 percent of AsiaSat’s total revenue in 2006.