Yahsat business improves in first half as it remains bullish on growth prospects

The satellite communications company signed a 15-year agreement in June in the UAE, pushing its committed contract backlog to $2.1bn

Al Yah Satellite Communications, or Yahsat, recorded improvements across its business lines in 2021 that boosted its first-half profit in line with the previous year.

Net profit attributable to the shareholders for the six months to the end of June stood at $30.1 million, the company said in a regulatory filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Wednesday.

On a normalised basis, “after adjusting for one-off non-recurring items”, the company, a unit of Mubadala Investment Company, recorded a 28 per cent annual increase in first-half net income to $37.1m.

Revenue for the first six months of 2021 reached $190.2m, a 3.9 per cent year-on-year drop due to “heightened Covid-19 challenges in global markets during the first quarter of 2021”.

However, revenue on quarterly basis rose 10.9 per cent to $100m in the second quarter of this year, reflecting Yahsat’s “growth potential” despite headwinds, the company said in a separate statement.

“The solid start we had at the beginning of 2021 has gained further momentum, as demonstrated by our second-quarter results,” said chief executive Ali Al Hashemi.

“Our strong performance is a … testament to the resilience of our businesses.”

In June, Yahsat entered into a 15-year T4-Next Generation Satellite Capacity Services Agreement with a government customer in the UAE, adding more than $700m to its committed contract backlog, which stands at Dh7.7 billion ($2.1bn).

The deal strengthens the company’s financial profile, securing future cashflows and underpinning its “stated progressive dividend policy”.

Yahsat also maintained a high cash conversion ratio of over 95 per cent in the first half of 2021, driven by capital expenditure efficiency and a well-capitalised balance sheet, it said.

The company continues to leverage its connectivity solutions to hasten its global growth plans, as it looks to expand its national and international operations.

“We are reinforcing these plans by pursuing [numerous] significant opportunities to create further value for our shareholders,” Mr Al Hashemi said.

Yahsat shares started trading on the ADX in July after it raised Dh2.68bn through its initial public offering.

The company has sold 975.9 million shares, or 40 per cent of equity, through the IPO, which was several times oversubscribed, with significant demand from both qualified institutional and retail investors in the UAE, Yahsat said in July.

Yahsat listing is the first major IPO on the Abu Dhabi bourse since Adnoc Distribution listed its shares in 2017.

Founded in 2007, Yahsat operates in more than 150 countries across five continents. Its five satellites reach more than two thirds of the world’s population.

A sixth satellite is expected to launch in the second half of 2023 and begin commercial operations 12 months later.

Updated: August 11th 2021, 10:57 AM
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