Category: Avon

Reference Library – England – Avon

Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group comfortably on course to meet … 0

Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group comfortably on course to meet …

Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC ( LON:SAT 1 ), which specialises in the provision of rural and last-mile broadband services, has been on an acquisition-frenzy since floating on AIM in May 2015. Its most recent trading update highlighted the success of its strategy of augmenting organic growth with bought-in growth. The group, which has a stated target of achieving 100,000 customers by the end of the year, revealed in a trading update covering the six months to the end of May 2017 that customer numbers are now around 90,000, up 14% since the start of the year, with particularly strong growth in Australia.

Total revenue in the first half of the current financial year soared 261% to £20.6mln from £5.7mln the year before, helped by the contribution of recent acquisitions; even so, like-for-like organic revenue growth was 13.1%. Recurring revenue rose 281% year-on-year to £19.4mln from £5.1mln the previous year, and accounts for 94% of total revenue. Gross margin in the reporting period improved to 37.0% from the 34.0% seen in the preceding 12-month period.

Spend, spend, spend! The group kicked off 2017 by announcing in January it was stumping up some £870,000 for the customers and related assets of SES Techcom Services customer Auvea Ingenierie (Viveole), a provider of satellite broadband services in France. Viveole has around 1,900 residential and business customers, and cements the group’s position as the second largest satellite broadband provider in France.

Satellite Solutions has also negotiated improved terms on a satellite capacity agreement with SES Techcom. The contract means improved commercial terms on existing business, plus new satellite broadband capacity to support Satellite Solutions Worldwide’s (SSW) sales in its primary European markets. SSW said the extra capacity is enough to handle some 5,000 new customers, and ensures continuity of supply of bandwidth into early 2019 in the UK and French markets.

In an interview with Proactive Investors in January, the group’s chief technology officer Simon Clifton said he saw 2017 as “a massive opportunity for both organic growth and acquisitions” and hopes to make more announcements throughout the year. “Satellite capacity is a buyer’s market and it works not dissimilar to other commodity markets in Europe,” he said. “The larger you are, the more you combine, therefore the better the price you can get.” Watch: Satellite Solutions sees 2017 as “massive opportunity” for organic growth and acquisitions 2 Shortly after Clifton’s remarks, the company agreed to buy Australian broadband provider BorderNET, as well as the customer bases of Norwegian broadband solutions providers NextNet and AS Distriktsnett (ASDN), for a total of £1.8mln. BorderNET has around 3,500 residential and business customers in Australia and specialises in providing broadband services to farming and remote communities. The two Norwegian firms – NextNet and ASDN – are both fixed wireless broadband solutions providers, although NextNet also has a focus on ADSL broadband as well.

NextNet has 1,680 customers while ASDN has about 330 residential and business customers in the west of Norway. Last summer, SSW boosted its presence in both of the regions after it snapped up Norwegian firm Breiburg and Aussie group Skymesh for a total of £11.7mln. Those deals were completed just a few weeks after Satellite took out its UK rival Avonline for £10mln.  Broadband access the growth driver SSW is an Internet service provider but the twist is it delivers the connection via satellite.

It provides its services to businesses as a back-up to the traditional line or cable based service; the construction sector also uses SSW, as do broadcasters. However, its stock in trade, the part that generates most of the sales, is connecting remote communities across Europe to a workable, reliable and reasonably fast Internet services. These are the areas where it is just not cost effective to introduce traditional broadband.

In Wales, for instance, there are 40,000 rural households that don’t have what nowadays would be considered bog standard Internet access. In all, anywhere from 5-15% of the population of Europe requires a service such as SSW’s. There are plenty of providers – around 50 here and on the Continent.

Some are loss-making, while others are unwanted appendages of larger organisations. For the satellite owners – firms such as Eutelsat, SES and Avanti – there are too many of these intermediaries to deal with. So, it makes the sector a classic consolidation play.

Broadband consolidation important “With pressure from the networks to consolidate this is what we are doing,” CEo Andrew Walwyn told Proactive Investors. “We are bringing businesses together – it is very much a roll-up strategy. “We are taking different businesses, taking customers and introducing a far lower overhead.” Walwyn reckons the current 50 operators could be whittled down to just five big players over the next five years, so the opportunity to increase scale (and create the economies that come with size) are there. Turning the corner and heading into the black At 7.25p per share, SSW is currently valued at £39mln. The company’s house broker is forecasting a move into profitability with earnings per share of 0.10p, which means the shares trade on a poky earnings multiple of 72.5, but this falls to 36.25 based on the broker’s forecast of earnings doubling the following year to 0.2p per share.

Full-year revenues are tipped to clock in at £40.6mln; given that the company’s revenues in the first half of the year were a little over half that, and that the customer take-up rate is accelerating, the full-year revenue forecast looks a little on the conservative side, opening up the possibility of a little bit of earnings outperformance. Top stories Share Facebook 3 Twitter 4 Google+ 5 LinkedIn 6 Email 7 Print 8 Download PDF version 9 Why Invest In Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group? Read More Here Register here to be notified of future SAT Company articles 11 10 References ^ LON:SAT (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Satellite Solutions sees 2017 as “massive opportunity” for organic growth and acquisitions (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Facebook (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Twitter (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Google+ (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ LinkedIn (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Email (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Print article (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Download PDF version (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Why Invest In Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group?

Read More Here (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Register here to be notified of future SAT Company articles (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk)

Satellite Solutions going the extra mile 0

Satellite Solutions going the extra mile

Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC ( LON:SAT 1 ), which specialises in the provision of rural and last-mile broadband services, has been on an acquisition-frenzy since floating on AIM in May 2015. Its most recent trading update highlighted the success of its strategy of augmenting organic growth with bought-in growth. The group, which has a stated target of achieving 100,000 customers by the end of the year, revealed in a trading update covering the six months to the end of May 2017 that customer numbers are now around 90,000, up 14% since the start of the year, with particularly strong growth in Australia.

Total revenue in the first half of the current financial year soared 261% to £20.6mln from £5.7mln the year before, helped by the contribution of recent acquisitions; even so, like-for-like organic revenue growth was 13.1%. Recurring revenue rose 281% year-on-year to £19.4mln from £5.1mln the previous year, and accounts for 94% of total revenue. Gross margin in the reporting period improved to 37.0% from the 34.0% seen in the preceding 12-month period.

Spend, spend, spend! The group kicked off 2017 by announcing in January it was stumping up some £870,000 for the customers and related assets of SES Techcom Services customer Auvea Ingenierie (Viveole), a provider of satellite broadband services in France. Viveole has around 1,900 residential and business customers, and cements the group’s position as the second largest satellite broadband provider in France.

Satellite Solutions has also negotiated improved terms on a satellite capacity agreement with SES Techcom. The contract means improved commercial terms on existing business, plus new satellite broadband capacity to support Satellite Solutions Worldwide’s (SSW) sales in its primary European markets. SSW said the extra capacity is enough to handle some 5,000 new customers, and ensures continuity of supply of bandwidth into early 2019 in the UK and French markets.

In an interview with Proactive Investors in January, the group’s chief technology officer Simon Clifton said he saw 2017 as “a massive opportunity for both organic growth and acquisitions” and hopes to make more announcements throughout the year. “Satellite capacity is a buyer’s market and it works not dissimilar to other commodity markets in Europe,” he said. “The larger you are, the more you combine, therefore the better the price you can get.” Watch: Satellite Solutions sees 2017 as “massive opportunity” for organic growth and acquisitions 2 Shortly after Clifton’s remarks, the company agreed to buy Australian broadband provider BorderNET, as well as the customer bases of Norwegian broadband solutions providers NextNet and AS Distriktsnett (ASDN), for a total of £1.8mln. BorderNET has around 3,500 residential and business customers in Australia and specialises in providing broadband services to farming and remote communities. The two Norwegian firms – NextNet and ASDN – are both fixed wireless broadband solutions providers, although NextNet also has a focus on ADSL broadband as well.

NextNet has 1,680 customers while ASDN has about 330 residential and business customers in the west of Norway. Last summer, SSW boosted its presence in both of the regions after it snapped up Norwegian firm Breiburg and Aussie group Skymesh for a total of £11.7mln. Those deals were completed just a few weeks after Satellite took out its UK rival Avonline for £10mln.  Broadband access the growth driver SSW is an Internet service provider but the twist is it delivers the connection via satellite.

It provides its services to businesses as a back-up to the traditional line or cable based service; the construction sector also uses SSW, as do broadcasters. However, its stock in trade, the part that generates most of the sales, is connecting remote communities across Europe to a workable, reliable and reasonably fast Internet services. These are the areas where it is just not cost effective to introduce traditional broadband.

In Wales, for instance, there are 40,000 rural households that don’t have what nowadays would be considered bog standard Internet access. In all, anywhere from 5-15% of the population of Europe requires a service such as SSW’s. There are plenty of providers – around 50 here and on the Continent.

Some are loss-making, while others are unwanted appendages of larger organisations. For the satellite owners – firms such as Eutelsat, SES and Avanti – there are too many of these intermediaries to deal with. So, it makes the sector a classic consolidation play.

Broadband consolidation important “With pressure from the networks to consolidate this is what we are doing,” CEo Andrew Walwyn told Proactive Investors. “We are bringing businesses together – it is very much a roll-up strategy. “We are taking different businesses, taking customers and introducing a far lower overhead.” Walwyn reckons the current 50 operators could be whittled down to just five big players over the next five years, so the opportunity to increase scale (and create the economies that come with size) are there. Turning the corner and heading into the black At 7.25p per share, SSW is currently valued at £39mln. The company’s house broker is forecasting a move into profitability with earnings per share of 0.10p, which means the shares trade on a poky earnings multiple of 72.5, but this falls to 36.25 based on the broker’s forecast of earnings doubling the following year to 0.2p per share.

Full-year revenues are tipped to clock in at £40.6mln; given that the company’s revenues in the first half of the year were a little over half that, and that the customer take-up rate is accelerating, the full-year revenue forecast looks a little on the conservative side, opening up the possibility of a little bit of earnings outperformance. Share Facebook 3 Twitter 4 Google+ 5 LinkedIn 6 Email 7 Print 8 Download PDF version 9 Why Invest In Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group? Read More Here Register here to be notified of future SAT Company articles 11 10 References ^ LON:SAT (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Satellite Solutions sees 2017 as “massive opportunity” for organic growth and acquisitions (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Facebook (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Twitter (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Google+ (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ LinkedIn (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Email (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Print article (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Download PDF version (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Why Invest In Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group?

Read More Here (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk) ^ Register here to be notified of future SAT Company articles (www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk)

Who will benefit from the eye-wateringly enormous £150m for … 0

Who will benefit from the eye-wateringly enormous £150m for …

Under the heading of Economy and Infrastructure, the financial package agreed yesterday 1 by the Conservatives and DUP says: Both the UK Government and the Executive recognise the integral part digital infrastructure in particular plays in opening up new opportunities for growth and connectivity for both businesses and consumers. In Northern Ireland, despite the increase in the availability of superfast broadband and mobile services, challenges remain. The UK Government will therefore contribute £75 million per year for two years to help provide ultra-fast broadband for Northern Ireland.

How will it be spent? £150 million over two years is somewhere between a transformational and an eye-wateringly enormous investment in NI’s broadband. However the wording of the deal only talks about ‘ultrafast’ broadband and doesn’t mention ‘superfast’. This could be an error in drafting, or a reliable indication of how the money will solely be targeted.

According to June 2016 figures 2 , 91% of premises in Northern Ireland can get basic 10Mbit/s broadband. (UK figure is 95%.) Superfast is a term now used to describe services with speeds of 30Mit/s or more (was previously 24Mbit/s) and generally involves either cable infrastructure from a supplier like Virgin Media or Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) and copper phone lines from there to the house or business. Superfast broadband is sufficient to watch HD TV/video online, quickly download films Ed – and Windows updates , and use video conferencing etc. The June 2016 figures say that Superfast broadband is only available to 83% of premises in NI. (UK 88%.) That dips to 52% in rural areas.

Only 71% of SMEs in Northern Ireland have access to Superfast broadband. Fixed broadband uptake at any speed in Northern Ireland was last reported to be 78% (UK 81%). Uptake of services qualifying to be called superfast is 34% in NI (31% UK).

Availability and uptake figures for Scotland and Wales are broadly similar to Northern Ireland and below the level in England. Revised figures will soon be published and are likely to show some improvement in Superfast availability. Ofcom’s Connected Nations report for Northern Ireland 3 was published in December 2016, It says: Just over 24,000 premises in Northern Ireland, around 3% of the total, cannot get a download speed of more than 2Mbit/s and … 63,000 premises (8%) cannot get a download speed of 10Mbit/s, which is the level the UK Government has indicated it will set for its proposed Universal Service Obligation.

Ultrafast describes services of 300Mit/s or more and requires fibre all the way to the premises (Fibre to the Home/Premises, FTTH/FTTP). The installation is more expensive and retail products are pitched at businesses with high speed connectivity requirements and/or a lot of employees sharing the bandwidth. Availability is very low.

Given the proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland (employing fewer than 250 people) there is no doubt that wider availability of very high speed broadband would help businesses expand in their local geographies and compete internationally without forcing them to move to more expensive urban office and manufacturing locations. However, if the £150 money from the deal is solely targeted at Ultrafast broadband, it is unlikely to benefit ordinary homes in rural areas – often west of the Bann – which today still have poor broadband. A mix of funding is required.

Otherwise, rural B&B owners will continue not to be able to send timely responses to booking enquiries and farmers will struggle to complete their online subsidy returns. Is £150 a lot of money? Yes, from figures available it is more than all previous government subsidies of broadband in NI over the last ten or more years.

Broadband Delivery UK is the government programme aiming to provide Superfast broadband to 95% of UK premises by the end of December 2017. They’ve so far contributed £11m which has been matched locally to make a total investment of £21m, targeting just under 66,000 premises in Northern Ireland. NI’s new investment of £150m is equivalent to 20-25% of the entire investment planned by Broadband Deliver UK to boost broadband across the whole UK.

Back of envelope calculations looking at the investment and outcomes of previous schemes suggests that £150m would deliver subsidised Ultrafast fibre broadband to 50,000-80,000 premises (depending on the urban/rural mix). If Superfast alone was targeted, the cost per premises to upgrade shared infrastructure is less and up to 300,000 premises could benefit. (Though that must exceed the number of unserved premises!) The NI Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee criticised the mismanagement of one early scheme 4 that aimed to provide faster internet connections to homes in Belfast, Craigavon, and Armagh. Spending plans must be scrutinised given the unexpected wording of the deal and the existing draft Programme for Government Framework measure to “improve internet connectivity so that more people have access to download speeds of 30Mbit/s and above.” Broadband is governed by the rules of physics, and speeds decrease as the length of copper telephone cable increases.

The fastest speeds are often achieved in dense urban areas where customers are physically close to the broadband infrastructure that lurks inside roadside green cabinets. Rural customers are often further away from their green cabinet and so – if copper cable is involved – their broadband speeds are lower. Some rural customers also tend to find themselves suffering from multiple digital deprivations.

Slow broadband on top of weak TV reception (perhaps getting the core Freeview channels but not the extra ones), poor mobile coverage or not all providers reducing competition (4% of premises in NI rural areas have no mobile voice coverage from any operator), and no DAB radio. Government intervention in broadband falls into two categories. Investing in availability and allowing access providers to upgrade infrastructure that would otherwise not be commercially viable to improve. (The commercial return on investment balances the cost of installing the extra equipment with the number of homes being served and the current uptake of broadband of those premises.) Subsidising uptake through voucher schemes to defray the off-putting cost of installation of satellite and fibre installation.

Both interventions have operated in Northern Ireland. The three-phase Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project 5 – which has funding from the EU as well as DCMS and the local Economy and Agriculture departments – is helping rollout fibre from exchanges that serve “communities in remote areas”. The Belfast Connection Vouchers Scheme 6 (part of the SuperConnected Cities programme that targeted 22 cities across the UK) ran between December 2013 and October 2015 and spent £3.86m to provide 2,062 businesses, charities and social enterprises with grants for up to £3,000 to cover the cost of high-speed broadband installation.

Anecdotally, some of the Ultrafast services ordered with the vouchers in Belfast experienced lengthy delays given the difficulty in scheduling streetworks to install fibre on busy city-centre streets. The Northern Ireland Better Broadband Scheme 7 is open until December 2017 and provides subsidised satellite or wireless broadband installation to homes and businesses that cannot access a 2Mit/s service. Share this: Related About Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast) Alan Meban.

Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast 8 where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes.

Tweets as @alaninbelfast 9 .

References ^ financial package agreed yesterday (www.gov.uk) ^ June 2016 figures (www.ofcom.org.uk) ^ Connected Nations report for Northern Ireland (www.ofcom.org.uk) ^ criticised the mismanagement of one early scheme (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project (www.economy-ni.gov.uk) ^ Belfast Connection Vouchers Scheme (www.belfastcity.gov.uk) ^ Northern Ireland Better Broadband Scheme (www.economy-ni.gov.uk) ^ Alan in Belfast (alaninbelfast.blogspot.com) ^ @alaninbelfast (twitter.com)