Ottawa-based Telesat adds new contracts amid disappointing Q2

telesat

Revenues were down at Telesat this past quarter, but a crop of new deals and a sizeable backlog of orders gave the Ottawa satellite firm a cushion to fall back on.

Telesat reported revenues of $212 million for the three months ending June 30. That’s down five per cent from the same period a year ago, though the company notes unfavourable foreign exchange rates and changes in accounting practices had marginal impacts on earnings.

The firm also swung to a net loss of $6 million for the quarter compared with last year’s profit of $148 million. Foreign exchange losses associated with the company’s U.S. dollar-denominated debt were assigned primary blame for the losses.

Despite the disappointing earnings, CEO Dan Goldberg said in a statement he was pleased with the firm’s performance in the second quarter, pointing to a series of completed projects and new agreements as setting the stage for future success.

Specifically, two contracts announced last week with Airbus and a consortium comprised of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar will further Telesat’s development and validation of a low-earth orbit satellite constellation. Goldberg lauded the potential of these LEO satellites, the firm’s first of which became operational this past quarter.

“The Telesat LEO constellation will deliver transformative, low latency, fibre-like broadband to commercial and government users worldwide,” he said in a statement.

Telesat is also basking in the successful launch of its Telstar 19 Vantage satellite last month. SpaceX, the firm responsible the recent launch, will send another Telesat satellite into orbit later this month.

On top of these deals, Telesat’s order backlog at the end of this past quarter stood at $3.8 billion.

In Ottawa, the local firm is gearing up for a seismic shift in the coming months: moving the company from its longtime Gloucester offices to a new downtown home at Place Bell.