Astrium satellite orders for new year are sky high

HI-TECH An Astrium satellite being prepared to be transported
HI-TECH An Astrium satellite being prepared to be transported
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SATELLITE manufacturer Astrium has announced pre-tax profits of €347m (£285m) for the latest financial year.

Astrium, which manufactures satellite parts from a large site at Broad Oak, Anchorage Park in Hilsea, saw a rise in profits, with revenues falling slightly.

Order intake for the company, which is now part of Airbus Defence and Space, rose significantly in 2013 to €6.2bn (£5.1bn).

In the final quarter of the year, Astrium received a frame contract from Arianespace, while the European Space Agency awarded a separate contract relating to maintaining and operating the International Space Station.

Four Ariane 5 launches were conducted in 2013, bringing the total number of successful consecutive launches to 57.

Six satellites built by Astrium were successfully delivered during the year.

The earnings before interest and taxes boost was driven by volume and productivity in the launchers, defence and satellites businesses.

Airbus Defence and Space has announced it had won a contract with SES, a leading satellite operator, for the design and construction of the latest addition to its fleet, the SES-10.

The new satellite will be based on the ultra-reliable Eurostar E3000 platform from Airbus Defence and Space.

François Auque, head of space systems for Airbus Defence and Space, said: ‘This new contract is a significant win for Airbus Defence and Space and further reinforces our long-standing relationship with SES, which has asked us to build their 10th Eurostar satellites.

‘This order also demonstrates our customers’ faith in our electrical propulsion technology for station-keeping, a technology that we are among the few in the world to be able to demonstrate in orbit, something we have now been doing for 10 years.’

The European aerospace company, known until this year as EADS, said its net profit rose 22 per cent to €1.47bn (£1.2bn) in 2013, up from €1.2bn the previous year.