Telesat announces $822 million loss

Telesat Holdings Inc., a Canadian communications satellite company, announced Friday it lost $822 million on revenues of $711 in 2008.

“Telesat achieved all of its key financial and operating objectives in 2008 and, as a result, I am very pleased with our performance for the year,” Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg stated in a press release.

The company had contract backlogs in excess of $5 billion, and two weeks ago launched its Telstar 11N from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Space Center. The Telstar 11N will provide Ku band communications over the Atlantic ocean, targeting shipping and aviation customers. It operates a total of 13 satellites and plans to launch the Nimiq 5 this year.

Of the money it lost in 2008, $698 million was due to foreign exchange fluctuations and it paid nearly $258 million in interest on debt of more than $3 billion. Of that, $23 million is due for repayment in 2009, and the company had nearly $100 million in cash as of Dec. 31. All figures are in Canadian currency.

Telesat is jointly owned by Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space and Communications Inc., which bought the firm from Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. in October, 2007.

Its biggest satellite, by weight, is the Anik F2 launched in 2004.

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