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MDA Reports Record Revenue in 2023, Previews More Contract Opportunities

By Rachel Jewett | February 29, 2024

      MDA Headquarters. Photo: MDA

      Canadian satellite manufacturer MDA reported a strong 2023 financial year driven by the company’s constellation contract, growing revenue 26% year-over-year. MDA reported full year 2023 financial results on Feb. 28. 

      2023 full year revenue for MDA was 807.6 million Canadian dollars ($595 million), compared to CA$641 million in 2022. 

      MDA has three business divisions — Geointelligence, Robotics and Space Operations, and Satellite Systems. The Satellite Systems division brought in the most revenue, earning CA$362 million, accounting for about 45% of the company’s business. Satellite Systems revenue was up 43% year-over-year. 

      The Robotics & Space Operations business grew 28% year-over-year, reporting CA$248.4 million in revenue. Geointelligence revenue was CA$197.5 million, generally in line with 2022 figures. 

      MDA is profitable and reported adjusted net income of CA$97.9 million in 2023, up 24% year-over-year, driven by higher operating income and lower finance costs.

      The company improved adjusted EBITDA as well. Full year adjusted EBITDA of CA$174.2 million was up 10.3% year over year driven by higher volumes. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 21.6% for the full year.

      MDA closed out 2023 with a record backlog of CA$3.1 billion. Backlog was up 125% compared to the end of 2022, partially due to the Telesat Lightspeed order. 

      The company added 890 new staff in 2023 as part of a focus on talent and recruitment to support growth. MDA also plans to double its workforce in the United Kingdom after acquiring the digital payload division of SatixFy

      “We continue to invest in the business to meet current and future growth across our business areas. We are in the early innings of a multi-decade growth cycle playing out in our end markets and MDA is uniquely qualified to take advantage of the growth,” CEO Mike Greenley said on a Wednesday call with investors. 

      The company provided guidance for 2024, expecting 25% growth for the year to reach revenues between CA$950 million to CA$1.05 billion. 

      Contract Opportunities in Satellite 

      Greenley estimates there is a CA$17 billion cumulative pipeline of opportunities for MDA overall over the next five years, and mentioned a growing number of satellite constellation projects. 

      “In satellite systems, we are seeing good momentum, with our teams working to advance multiple requests for communication satellite solutions, and a growing number of constellation projects. We are seeing good activity levels from customers, and our opportunity funnel remains strong,” he said. 

      Greenley confirmed MDA has started engineering and procurement activities on the $180 million constellation order from an unnamed customer that the company announced in November. 

      Greenley said the full constellation, valued at at least $750 million, is expected to include a minimum of 36 MDA’s newly introduced software-defined digital satellites. The contract for the full constellation is expected this year. 

      He also gave an update on the Telesat Lightspeed program, which MDA is building 198 satellites for. ​​MDA is currently finalizing supplier selection for the program. 

      “On the Lightspeed program, we made good progress on ramp-up activities in Q4. Our teams have been busy engaging with our supplier base and progressing early design, work systems requirements analysis, and subcontractor tender planning and preparation,” Greenley said.