Yahsat is targeting strong revenue growth in the commercial data and satellite phone business

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

“We will expand our reach to more markets and business segments by expanding our revenue streams from our commercial business,” said Sulaiman Al Ali, Chief Commercial Officer of Yahsat. The National.

Ali is also the CEO of Thuraya, Yahsat’s mobile satellite telecommunications arm, which it acquired from Etisalat in 2018.

In his new role as CCO, he will lead Yahsat’s commercial business which includes YahClick, the data solutions business and Thuraya, its mobile business.

Yahsat, raised its forecast 2022 revenue by 1.3% at the end of the first half of 2022 to at least Dh1.54 billion ($419 million) from previous guidance of Dh1.52 billion, maintaining top end unchanged at Dh1.62 billion.

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

Sulayman Al Ali, Commercial Director of Yahsat

The company’s revenue for the first half of 2022 stood at 755 million dirhams, up more than 8% from the same period last year, with net profit attributable to shareholders for the six-month period at 167 million dirhams, more than 50% more than the same period of the previous year. 2021

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

By combining the roles of Chief Commercial Officer of Yahsat and Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya, the company hopes to devise a cohesive strategy to reach new geographies and market segments.

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

Thuraya, currently covers 150 countries, while YahClick has a presence in more than 60.

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

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

“We have a strong position in the market because of our technical capabilities and strong financial support from Mubadala and other investors.”

While a significant portion of the group’s contract revenue for the next few years will come from government projects, Ali said, the contribution of the commercial business to the overall 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 business operations in remote areas where there is no access to data. In addition, it focuses on a growing maritime business encompassing fishing vessels and offshore oil and gas facilities, agricultural research, weather forecasting and a fast-growing Internet of Things business, which the company expects to be a key driver of your commercial mobility. business

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

One of the major projects Yahsat is working on is the Thuraya 4 Next Generation satellite (T4-NGS), which is scheduled to launch next year and begin commercial services in the second half of 2024.

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

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

“The new satellite will enable the commercial business to offer a new portfolio of products that will serve segments such as air, maritime and land applications with much greater connectivity,” Ali said.

While the project is on schedule, overall more than 80 percent of Yahsat’s projected capital spending and investment for 2022 is related to the T4-NGS program.

The capex related to the T4-NGS program is financed almost entirely through a combination of debt through export credit agreements and significant down payments that the company received from the UAE government.

Last year, Yahsat was also appointed by the UAE government to conduct a detailed assessment and recommendation for two new satellites, Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5, to be launched in 2026.

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

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

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

Founded in 2007, the satellite operator provides multi-mission satellite services to more than 150 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia and Australasia. It has a current fleet of five satellites extending its reach to more than 80 percent of the world’s population.

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

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

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

“The launch of new space programs and the support it is receiving from the government will create a very competitive business model that has a lot of participation from UAE citizens, creating a local workforce in this segment,” Ali said.

Updated: August 21, 2022 at 05:19

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