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an exclusive video interview with Petra Mateos.
When appointed chairwoman of Hispasat in 2004, Petra Mateos felt the company needed to have more of an international focus and more diversified revenue streams. Mateos followed through on her plans, expanding Hispasat’s operations, geographic reach and profitability, and for her efforts, she has been named Via Satellite’s 2010 Satellite Executive of the Year.
When Mateos assumed leadership of Hispasat, the operator was barely profitable, posting earnings of about 12 million euros ($16.3 million) combined in 2004 and 2005. Fast forward six years, and Hispasat is on track to record a combined profit in 2009 and 2010 of around 140 million euros ($190.5 million).
Hispasat has been transformed into one of the most efficient FSS players around the globe by adhering to “an effective commitment to the development of the information society and to providing universal access to the communications services,” Mateos says. “To be specific, between 2004 and 2010, Hispasat experienced the highest growth in its history. Net income increased 32.5 times and revenues by 114.8 percent. Thanks to its efficient, effective and sustainable growth model for creating value and encouraging innovation, achieving the goals set in recent years has enabled Hispasat to become the seventh company in the world by revenue in its sector and the company ranks third for regional operators.”
The operator has flourished by focusing on Latin America and the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking parts of Europe and now distributes more than 1,150 television and radio channels. Strong fill rates of Amazonas 1 and Amazonas 2 in Latin America vindicate Mateos’s strategy and bode well for future growth. Mateos spoke with Via Satellite Associate Editor Mark Holmes about how she turned Hispasat into a force to be reckoned with.
VIA SATELLITE: What have been the drivers of Hispasat’s growth?
Mateos: The key drivers of this growth have been: the strength of a successful project linked to the new management model implemented by the company along with a commercial policy that keeps it close to the growth plans of its clients. The implementation of policies of containment and rationalization of costs, through the improvement of budget monitoring systems and control, obtaining reasonable benefits from the resources used and high, sustainable and quality profit. We aim to encourage innovation, which is part of our corporate DNA, as well as a tool for competitiveness.
VIA SATELLITE: How will you sustain this growth?
Mateos: In 2006, Hispasat launched a growth and expansion plan in order to strengthen its business project. The plan contemplates the introduction of five new satellites to our fleet, with an investment of more than 1.28 billion euros ($1.74 billion). Completion of the projects included in the plan will double our capacity in orbit, strengthen Hispasat’s position in its target markets and open new growth, will have very positive effects on major economic-financial magnitudes, forecasting an average annual cumulative growth of more than 10 percent of revenue and 11 percent in EBITDA for the 2009-2017 period.
The amount of these investments will be financed by Hispasat without recurring to shareholders thanks to the cash flows generated by the group and new debt.
After the launch of Amazonas 2 in October 2009 and of Hispasat 1E in December 2010, the growth strategy included in the plan allows the modular and optimized growth of Hispasat's capacity in line with demand forecasts through the launch of the Hispasat 2A satellite (2013), the replacement of Amazonas 1 through the Amazonas 3 satellite (2013), and the replacement of the 1C and 1D satellites by Hispasat 1F satellite at the end of the lifetime of 1C. With these new satellites, Hispasat has reinforced its role as a key operator for the advance of the aerospace and telecommunications industry in our country through programs which provide technological returns, both direct and indirect, that boost its growth and speed our international process.