July 31, 2019 / 6:20 AM / 3 months ago

Eutelsat reports financial year revenue drop as expected, buyback plan lifts shares

(Reuters) - French satellite company Eutelsat (ETL.PA) reported on Wednesday 2018/2019 financial year revenue fell in line with its expectations and announced a share buy-back plan, helping lift the company’s shares.

Eutelsat’s shares were up 1.4% by 0730 GMT after the company said it would recommend an unchanged dividend of 1.27 euros per share and buy back at least 100 million euros ($112 million)worth of shares over the next three years.

“A slight soft dividend is more than offset by a surprise buy-back,” Jefferies analysts said in a note. According to the brokerage, the new guidance on operating revenue is exactly in line in at mid-point with consensus.

Eutelsat said revenue from operating activities fell 3.1% to 1.29 billion euros (£1.1 billion) in the financial year ended June 30, roughly in line with its outlook for a 3% decline provided in May.

Eutelsat said it expected sales for its professional video and fixed data units to remain under pressure in current fiscal year and estimated 2019/2020 operating revenue would be in the range of 1.28 billion to 1.32 billion euros. Jefferies said the new outlook matched a mid-point of market consensus.

Eutelsat, which competes with SES SESFg.LU, had cut its revenue guidance twice during the fiscal year, citing ramp-up delays, a loss of contract and other factors.

Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki in Gdynia; Editing by David Holmes and Tomasz Janowski

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