The reduction in revenues to $196 million was partially offset by overall growth in Telesat's international satellites and some additional money from the Canadian payload on ViaSat-1, which provides satellite broadband services.
The Ottawa company also saw its net income fall 14 per cent to $99 million for the quarter ending March 31, from $115 million last year.
Lower revenues, higher operating expenses and a non-cash loss associated to writing off fees for a recent $2.55-billion refinancing all contributed to the reduced bottom line, Telesat stated.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization also fell to $153 million, about three per cent less than last year.
Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg said the results were satisfactory, as revenues and EBITDA declined slightly despite the "significant" reduction in revenue from the DTH satellite.
"We had a busy first quarter," he said in a conference call to analysts Friday morning.
Telesat's principal shareholders are its two owners, New York-based Loral Space & Communications, which has a majority economic interest, and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board, which holds a majority voting interest.
Shareholders received around $586 million on March 28 in part from the refinancing, and also with some excess cash from operations. An additional $70 million should be distributed to them later this year.
Additionally, $49 million was collectively paid to executives and certain employees of Telesat. Around $37.2 million of that was "recognized in respect of special payments during the quarter," Telesat stated.
The firm did a lengthy review of strategic alternatives last year, but its owners decided not to sell the company after considering several offers. Telesat is positioning the refinancing as an alternative way of giving back to its principal shareholders, as well as certain executives and employees.
When asked by an analyst if the firm could be put up for sale again soon, Mr. Goldberg said he doesn't "necessarily connect the dividend with our thinking about the future."
"The focus right now is really on our upcoming launches, doing all the stuff we need to do in terms of getting renewals and selling the available capacity on orbit," he said, referring to the forthcoming launches of Nimiq 6 and Anik G1 this year.
"Beyond that, we'll just take that from there. I think the shareholders demonstated pretty clearly, when they decided not to move forward with one of the strategic alternatives on the table, that they have a high degree of confidence in terms of our growth profile."
Nimiq 6, which is 100-per-cent contracted for Bell direct-to-home services in Canada, is expected to launch May 17. Anik G1 will likely fly in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Building and preparing the satellites is taking the lion's share of capital expenses for Telesat this year, officials noted in the call.
Overall Telesat fleet utilization in North America is 91 per cent, and internationally, 80 per cent. Its backlog for future services stood at $5.5 billion as of March 31.