PanAmSat reports Q3 profit

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PanAmSat, the video and communications satellite operator that is being acquired for $3.2bn by Intelsat, reported a third quarter profit of $54.2m on Wednesday reflecting cost cutting measures and the strong performance of its core TV programming and video services business.

The profit, equivalent to 43 cents a share, compared with a loss of $76.7m, or 28 cents, a year earlier and was boosted by a $18.3m gain on an interest sway agreement.

The Connecticut-based group, which owns and operates a fleet of 25 satellites, also reaffirmed its guidance for the full year and said its expects revenues to grow by 4 per cent and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to grow by 6 per cent.

Joe Wright, chief executive, described the latest quarter as “one of the most active in PanAmSat’s history.”

He outlined a series of new initiatives by the company designed to strengthen its position as the largest fixed satellite system provider of high definition TV signals while launching new IP (Internet Protocol) based services including an emergency response unit designed to work with emergency and disaster recovery services.

Mr Wright said the merger with Intelsat which will create the world’s largest commercial satellite operator, “is proceeding on schedule,” and noted that the company also completed the acquisition of Europe*Star strengthening its presence in the European and Middle Eastern markets.

In the latest quarter, revenues were flat at $209.1m compared to $207.1m a year earlier but would have been $7m higher had it not been for the delay in the launch of a new satellite. TV programme and video distribution revenues, which represent two thirds of the total, grew by 6 per cent.

Operating expenses declined by $193.2m from a year earlier, when the company had costs related to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.’s $3.53bn buyout from Rupert Murdoch’s DirecTV Group. The company went public in March.

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