Yahsat targets strong revenue growth from commercial data and satellite phone business

Al Yah Satellite Communications, better known as Yahsat, is optimistic about strong revenue growth in its commercial data and satellite telecommunications business as the Abu Dhabi company prepares to launch its next satellite in 2023 and expand into new markets.

“By expanding our revenue streams from our commercial business, we will expand our reach into more markets and business segments,” said Sulaiman Al Ali, commercial director of Yahsat. National.

Ali is also the CEO of Thuraya, the mobile satellite telecommunications arm that Yahsat acquired from Etisalat in 2018.

In his new role as CCO, he will lead Yahsat’s business business, consisting of YahClick, its data solutions business, and Thuraya, its mobile phone business.

At the end of the first half of 2022, Yahsat increased its projected 2022 revenue by 1.3 percent to at least Dh 1.54 billion ($419 million) from the previous forecast of Dh 1.52 billion, without changing the cap, to Dh 1.62 billion. kept it.

We have a solid market standing, thanks to our technical capabilities and strong financial support from Mubadala and other investors.

Suleiman Al Ali, commercial director of Yahsat

The company’s first half of 2022 revenue was Dh755 million, up more than 8 percent year-on-year, and net profit attributable to shareholders for the six-month period was Dh167 million, up more than 50 percent from the same period. 2021.

“To expand the revenue share of our commercial data and mobile telecommunications business, we will soon offer our customers globally competitive combined packages at competitive prices,” Ali said.

By combining the roles of Yahsat’s chief commercial officer and Thuraya’s general manager, the company hopes to develop a cohesive strategy to reach new geographies and market segments.

“In my new role as CCO, I have access to all the solutions and products of the group and the markets that both companies are working on. In terms of geographies, there are many common areas that offer synergies in market access strategies.”

Thuraya currently covers 150 countries, while YahClick operates in more than 60 countries.

In the Middle East and Africa region, both companies have a strong footprint and share numerous partners and distributors.

“This gives us the opportunity to jointly package many solutions,” he said.

Thanks to our technical capabilities and strong financial support from Mubadala and other investors, we have a solid position in the market.”

While the bulk of the group’s contract income for the next few years will come from government projects, Mr. Ali said the commercial enterprise’s contribution to the total revenue pool will increase as the business expands further.

The company already has a significant presence in mobile data, covering small and medium businesses and commercial operations in remote areas where data is unavailable. Additionally, it focuses on a growing maritime business serving fishing vessels and offshore oil and gas facilities, agricultural research, weather forecasting, and a fast-growing Internet of Things business that the company expects to be a key driver of its commercial mobility. business.

“We have a strategic plan to position Yahsat as one of the major IoT players. “This is an important growth area for our commercial business.”

One of the important projects Yahsat is working on is the Thuraya 4 Next Generation satellite (T4-NGS), which is scheduled to be launched next year and is scheduled to enter commercial service in the second half of 2024.

The satellite aims to support both the long-term managed capacity services agreement with the UAE government and next-generation mobility solutions services focused on the mobile data, maritime and IoT segments.

The company, which is among the top 10 satellite operators in the world by revenue, expects its revenue from global data services to increase significantly as it launches data services using its T4-NGS with advanced 4G and 5G capabilities.

“The new satellite will enable the commercial enterprise to offer a new product portfolio that will appeal to segments such as aerospace, marine and land-based applications with much greater connectivity,” said Ali.

While the project is on schedule, overall, more than 80 percent of Yahsat’s estimated capital expenditure and investment of Dh 698 million in 2022 is related to the T4-NGS programme.

Capital expenditure on the T4-NGS program is financed almost entirely through a combination of debt through export credit arrangements and substantial upfront payments the company has received from the UAE government.

Last year, Yahsat was commissioned by the UAE government to provide a detailed assessment and recommendation for two new satellites, Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5, targeted for launch in 2026.

Mr. Ali hopes the two new satellites will greatly enhance Yashat’s service offerings, with additional capacity, coverage and capabilities to enable next-generation applications. It will also present a “significant growth opportunity” for Yahsat and “further increase our revenue from both government contracts and commercial businesses”.

“The new satellites will significantly expand the capabilities of our existing satellites, Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2, with new technologies.”

The company is currently evaluating the cost of this project and how it will be financed. With a very low leverage balance sheet, the company said last month it had ample room to raise funds through debt to fund the program.

Founded in 2007, the satellite operator offers multi-purpose satellite services in more than 150 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. It has a fleet of five existing satellites, expanding its reach to more than 80 percent of the world’s population.

Experienced in the UAE’s satellite telecommunications business and associated with Yahsat for nearly a decade, Mr. Ali is confident in the global competitiveness of Yahsat’s business model.

“While reliable and innovative solutions are what we offer our customers in all markets, we pay attention to affordability and therefore package our products and services to suit each market segment.

The UAE’s space business ecosystem has sprung up over the past decade with a significant presence in the global commercial satellite telecommunications and data business.

“The launch of new space programs and the support it receives from the government will create a very competitive business model with large engagement of UAE citizens and creating local manpower in this segment,” Ali said. Said.

Updated: August 21, 2022 at 05:19

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