Ottawa’s Telesat swings to $293M full-year profit

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Favourable foreign exchange rates helped Ottawa satellite operator Telesat post a $293-million profit in 2016 despite a decline in revenues.

The financial results, released Thursday, are a dramatic improvement over the local firm’s $267-million loss in 2015.

“I am pleased with our performance over the past year, particularly given the challenging conditions prevailing in certain of the markets we serve,” said Telesat president and CEO Dan Goldberg in a statement.

The Ottawa-based firm recorded a three per cent decline in revenues in 2016 to $931 million, primarily due to lower sales to the energy and resource industries as well as a transition of services from one satellite to another.

Telesat said that shift also weighed down the company’s fourth-quarter results. Revenues in the three months ending Dec. 31 fell by roughly seven per cent to $240 million. That led to a quarterly loss of $21 million, an improvement on the $29 million loss in the same period a year earlier.

With a fleet of 15 satellites, Telesat provides communications services to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers.