Avanti bullish despite jump in its losses

Steve Dinneen
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Satellite broadband provider Avanti saw its full year losses widen as costs associated with its new satellite projects took their toll.

The firm posted a pre-tax loss of £12.7m, from £2m last year, with revenues slipping from £5.8m to £5.5m.

However, chief executive David Williams told City A.M. the results were in line with expectations and said the firm is ahead of target in booking orders for its new satellite, which began trading in April.

Avanti slipped 1.7 per cent in trading yesterday after hitting a two-year low this month. Williams said the firm has been “beaten up” by a short selling campaign, dragging the firm’s shares as low as 255p. He said the firm’s break-up value alone totals in the region of 463p.

Avanti expects to receive a boost when it launches its second satellite in the second quarter of next year. It will cover the Middle East and Williams expects to see high demand from government organisations.

It will also benefit from soaring demand for mobile data and the UK government’s provision to include satellites in its roll-out of broadband to rural areas.

He said: “We are very confident we will be able to achieve the level of sales we have set out.”

Avanti also announced it has reached an agreement to insure its second satellite £9.7m under budget. Williams expects this to calm the nerves of jumpy investors, with the insurance policy worth more than the current market cap of the firm.

It also repaid its high-cost payment in kind debt by raising the £70m through an equity placing and said it has no outstanding debt until the end of next year.

Chairman John Brackenbury said the last year has been a “landmark” for the company.