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WorldSpace Reports Poor Quarter, Year

By | March 21, 2008

      [Satellite Today – 3-21-08] WorldSpace Satellite Radio suffered a poor fourth quarter and year, with revenues, subscribers and net loss all taking a hit, the company announced March 20.
          WorldSpace reported revenues of $3.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, a 24 percent decrease from $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Subscription revenue was flat with 2006’s fourth quarter at $2 million. The company also recorded a net loss of $46 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 36 percent higher than the $33.8 million net loss reported in the fourth quarter of 2006. WorldSpace ended the quarter with 174,166 subscribers worldwide, a loss of 3,478 from the close of the prior quarter.
          For the year, WorldSpace recorded net revenues of $13.8 million, 13 percent lower than net revenues of $15.6 million in 2006. The net loss for 2007 was $169.5 million, compared with a net loss of $128.6 million in 2006.
          “Our goals for 2008 include securing licenses and approvals in at least four additional major European countries as well as India,” Noah Samara, chairman and CEO of WorldSpace, said in a statement. “We are working on the development of a satellite/terrestrial hybrid service for India and the Middle East, with the Indian service still remaining subject to securing the necessary government approvals for the terrestrial component. Through this hybrid [digital audio radio] service offering, we expect to broaden services to automobiles while improving the reliability of our service in urban areas. And we continue to evolve our plans for a hybrid [digital audio radio]  service in the Middle East. We also expect to introduce new receivers targeted at stratified market segments, all subject to securing additional long-term capital to fund these plans.”
          Separately, WorldSpace received approval from Switzerland’s Office Federal de la Communication to operate terrestrial repeaters that will work in conjunction with its existing satellite network. The company plans to offer mobile satellite radio service in Europe and the Middle East as early as 2009, beginning with Italy and expanding to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

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