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Retirement of Thor 2 Takes Toll on Telenor’s Revenue

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting of Norway on Feb. 13 reported a 7 percent drop in revenue and a 3 percent drop in gross profit for the last three months of 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier, saying the retirement of the Thor 2 satellite and lower broadcast revenue caused the declines.

Oslo-based Telenor had been able to squeeze extra revenue from Thor 2 after replacing the satellite in its own fleet, then leasing it since 2008 to SES of Luxembourg. Thor 2 was retired in late 2012 and was raised to a graveyard orbit in January.

That loss cut into Telenor’s fourth-quarter revenue, which was down 7 percent from a year ago at 239 million Norwegian kroner ($43 million). EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was down 3 percent, to 160 million kroner.

For the full year, Telenor reported 980 million kroner in revenue, down 1.8 percent from 2011, but EBITDA was up 1.5 percent and was equivalent to nearly 69 percent of revenue as a result of reduced operating costs, Telenor said.

Telenor plans to introduce Ka-band to its 1 degree west orbital slot following the launch, set for late this year, of the Thor 7 satellite. Telenor expects to offer Ka-band broadband links to maritime customers. The company said it is already seeing a shift in demand for data from land to maritime applications in Ku-band.

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