HISPASAT ON FIRM STANDING TO FACE EURO CHALLENGE
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat experienced a good first quarter 2001 by recording a turnover of Pta 4.3 billion (E25.84m), a rise of 27.7 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Its operating profits grew by 38.1 per cent, reaching Pta 3.6 billion, while its net profit increased 19.3 per cent to Pta 1.1 billion – thanks to the marketing of its third unit Hispasat 1C.
The company, headed by Pedro Antonio Martin Marin and with three satellites in orbit (1A, 1B and 1C), also has ambitious plans for the future. Hispasat claims to be in talks with Astra and Eutelsat, the major players in Europe, over a possible alliance to fully break into the European market.
A decision is due to be made before this summer starts. Negotiations with Eutelsat seem to be at a more advanced stage, even though the recent alliance between SES and GE American has placed Astra in a very good position to become Hispasat’s strategic partner.
The new partner will become a shareholder in Hispasat through a capital enlargement or by forcing some present shareholders to reduce their shares in the satellite operator.
Currently, the company is shared by the domestic broadcasting agency Retevision (30.28 per cent), Telefonica (22.74 per cent), BBVA (18.48 per cent), INTA (18.29 per cent), SEPI (8.21 per cent) and CDTI (2 per cent).
Hispasat also strengthened its position on the American continent and is to set up a subsidiary company called Hispamar, along with Brasilian Telemar, to develop its project called Amazon. This project includes the launch of a satellite that will be located in the 61 degrees West slot over Brazil in 2003, which will cover the whole American continent. Total investments are estimated at Pta 50 billion.