ABERTIS TELECOM: THE COMMITMENT TO AN INTEGRATED TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATOR
Presentation on Abertis' Investor Day
Barcelona, May 03rd, 2010
The Investor Day that abertis is holding today in Barcelona will be focused on abertis telecom's business model, with an analysis of this business unit's performance and track record from when it joined the Group in year 2000 until now. The presentation highlights the weight of the telecommunications business in the Group's consolidated figures, as well as its performance since 2003, when retevisión was integrated into the Group and abertis was created.
Today's presentation highlights how abertis telecom's income went from €247.4 million in 2003 to €541.3 million in 2009, with average growth of 14%. The company's EBITDA went from €64.5 million to €219.5 million in 2009, with average growth of 22.6%. For its part, net profit went from €12.6 million in 2003 to a figure of €95 million in 2009.
abertis telecom's presentation as part of the Group's Investor Day held today also makes clear the main elements which make up the audiovisual business' value chain, from the generation of content to reception by the viewer, through the encoding, transport and broadcast elements, which are those provided by abertis telecom.
Another of the aspects highlighted by today's presentation is the source of the terrestrial business' income from the different services provided by abertis telecom. 54% of the company's income comes from the distribution and broadcast of the television signal. On-site co-location and telecommunications network operation and maintenance services make up 14% of income, whilst reinforced engineering and consultancy sales represent 11%. TV signal transmission and dedicated circuit sales also generate 11% of income. For their part, radio signal distribution and broadcast services, in addition to radio communication services for security and emergency forces, generate 5% of income, respectively.
Transition to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
abertis telecom has this year successfully completed the project for the transition to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), one of the most complex and ambitious technological migration exercises ever undertaken in a service as universal, and today fundamental, as television. The project has entailed a great deal of technical, logistical and social complexity (it affects more than 46 million people) for the deployment since 2005 of a new digital broadcast network based on existing and new centres, with the aim of replacing the analogue network deployed over the last 50 years.
Of the currently existing DTT transmitter centres in Spain (a total of 5,700), 52% (2,939) are managed by abertis telecom. The company has invested more than €350 million in this project, in which coverage has been provided, as established by the National Technical DTT Plan, to 98% and 96% of the population for public and private television stations, respectively.
Today's presentation as part of abertis Investor Day also highlights the business opportunities which will be opened up by the terrestrial business for abertis telecom. in the coming years. In this regard, it makes reference to the process by which new multiple DTT channels will be created; specifically three new national multiple channels in addition to the five already in existence, a regional multiple channel in addition to the one already in existence and a multiple channel for mobile TV. It is expected that the allocation of the three national multiple channels will become effective in mid-2010. The maximum deployment periods would therefore be 90% coverage in the last quarter of 2010 and 95% in the first quarter of 2011.
It also highlights the importance of the deregulation of frequency bands above channel 60 before January 2015, which will offer the company new business opportunities in the field of the provision of advanced electronic communications services (mobile operators).
DTT will also open up new development opportunities in new services such as pay-DTT, high-definition TV, 3D television and different convergence formulas between TV and Internet and mobile DTT, among others. In short, new applications and services in which abertis telecom as a neutral network operator, will continue to contribute all of its innovation and development capability.
In line with the process of integration and convergence of terrestrial, satellite and cable signal transmission technologies, today's presentation has also highlighted abertis telecom's satellite business, in which it is present through its stakes in Eutelsat (31.4%) and Hispasat (42.1%). This business fits perfectly with abertis telecom's activity as a telecommunications network and infrastructure operator. In this regard, it is a capital-intensive business, with a strong element of collaboration with the Public Administration, which allows a high level of complementarity with the audiovisual sector (terrestrial infrastructures and support for the online services of abertis' businesses), with visible, stable cash flows and attractive economies of scale for operating and expansion investments.
Through the companies in which it holds a stake in the satellite sector, Eutelsat and Hispasat, abertis telecom has a joint capacity of 32 satellites in 23 orbital positions and 5 satellites under construction which are expected to be launched in 2010 and 2011. Through both companies it has a presence in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America and covers more than 90% of the world population. Both Eutelsat and Hispasat are companies which have achieved a high level of growth in terms of both income and net profit, with leading EBITDA margins among world satellite operators (78.9% in the case of Eutelsat and 77.4% in the case of Hispasat).
The presentation on abertis' Investor Day also provides details of abertis telecom's forecast growth in terms of income, EBITDA, investments and cash flow for the next three years. In this regard, as far as income is concerned abertis telecom expects to see an increase from €541 million in 2009 to €610 million in 2013. The forecast also estimates that the impact of the 2010 analogue switch-off on abertis telecom's consolidated income will be negligible, enabling it to keep the level of income at €540 million. For its part, it is estimated that EBITDA will increase from a 40.4% margin over income in 2009 to 44.6% in 2013.
This growth in both income and EBITDA is associated with the introduction of the new multiple DTT channels, the launch of several Hispasat satellites and the new businesses resulting from the deregulation of frequency bands above channel 60 (digital dividend).
§ abertis's telecommunications business unit anticipates that income will go from around €541 million in 2009 to €610 million in 2013, increasing its EBITDA margin to 44.6% over three years.
§ The impact of the analogue switch-off on abertis telecom's consolidated income in 2010 will be negligible.
§ The company associates its growth in income and EBITDA over the next few years with the introduction of the new multiple DTT channels, the launch of several Hispasat satellites and the new businesses resulting from the deregulation of frequency bands above channel 60 (digital dividend).