Telesat posts records in revenue and earnings


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OTTAWA - Telesat Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of BCE Inc., announced today its unaudited financial results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2004. The company, which owns and operates satellites serving the Americas and provides a wide range of consulting services, reported a record $362.1 million in revenue, and record net earnings applicable to common shares of $83.4 million.

These figures represent growth of 5% in revenue (2003: $344.5 million) and 19% in net earnings (2003: $70 million).

In the fourth quarter, Telesat had unaudited consolidated operating revenue of $102.1 million, an increase of $3.1 million over the same period in 2003. Consolidated net earnings applicable to common shares for the quarter were $21.3 million, an increase of $10.5 million. This increase resulted from higher earnings from operations, lower interest expense and lower income taxes, all of which were partially offset by lower other income.

Cash flows from operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2004 increased 21% to $185.8 million for 2004 compared to $153.4 million for 2003.

Highlights of the fourth quarter included:

Customers in Colombia: Telesat signed agreements with subsidiaries of Comsat International, a U.S. based company that operates communication networks in South American countries, and with Internet por Colombia, a local joint venture. Telesat has agreed to furnish a communications platform serving 4,500 locations in Colombia and will deliver the hardware, software and satellite capacity required for the communications service on these networks.

Successful Anik F1R tests: The Anik F1R satellite completed its initial system level testing. Telesat's first European-built satellite is now undergoing space simulation testing at EADS Astrium's facilities in Toulouse, France. The satellite remains on track for a launch in the third quarter of 2005.

Anik F3 construction underway: The Anik F3 satellite components and assemblies are under manufacture, while the spacecraft undergoes the critical design review phase. This program also remains on track with EADS Astrium as the prime contractor for a satellite launch in late 2006.

U.S. acquisition: Telesat concluded a deal, signed in January 2005, to acquire The SpaceConnection, Inc., a prominent California-based provider of programming-related satellite transmission services to all major U.S. television networks and cable programmers. The company will be operated as an independent subsidiary with no change to its customers, employees and vendor relationships. The acquisition is immediately accretive to Telesat's revenue, EBITDA, and common shareholder earnings.

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