"We had a good third quarter": Telesat CEO

Despite posting lower revenues than in the same period last year, Telesat Holdings had a “good third quarter,” president and CEO Dan Goldberg said in a conference call Thursday.

“The market environment has been relatively stable throughout the course of the year and, as a result of our strategic focus and disciplined execution, we grew revenues, reduced operating expenses, increased adjusted EBITDA and expanded our adjusted EBITDA margin compared to the first nine months of last year,” Mr. Goldberg said in a statement.

Despite some lower numbers for the 2014 third quarter, Telesat’s revenues are up three per cent year-to-date at $695 million. Operating expenses fell six per cent to $142 million, adjusted EBITDA increased five per cent to $563 million, and the firm’s adjusted EBITDA margin was up to 81 per cent. Telesat’s year-to-date net income is $39 million, nearly double what it was at the same point in 2013.

For the the three months ending Sept. 30, revenue was down four per cent to $228 million compared with the third quarter of 2013, and six per cent lower when adjusted for foreign exchange rates.

The company said the difference was due mainly to a spike in revenue in the third quarter of 2013 that came from “short-term services provided to another satellite operator,” as well as from the return of a Nimiq 2 satellite from a customer late in the quarter.

Operating expenses, at $49 million, were six per cent lower than during the same period last year, and eight per cent lower when the foreign exchange rate was factored in.

The company said this was due to lower share-based compensation expenses related to stock options granted in the third quarter last year.

Adjusted EBITDA was $182 million, five per cent lower than last year, or seven per cent with foreign exchange considered. The EBITDA margin was relatively unchanged at 80 per cent, compared with 81 per cent in the same quarter last year.

A weakening Canadian dollar contributed to a net loss of $41 million for the quarter, compared with a net income of $102 million for the same period last year.

Mr. Goldberg said he expected the strong numbers to continue in future reports.

“Our revenues remain well diversified and our industry-leading contractual backlog provides strong visibility into the stability of our future revenue and cash flow,” he said.