Thuraya provides update on strategy and recent performance

Success of recent turnaround programme confirmed by accelerating revenue growth in 2013

Strategic focus now on driving industry innovation, on increasing market share, on expanding coverage and on leading the convergence in satellite and terrestrial mobile

February 18, 2014 – Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading international Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) operator, today provided an update on its transformation programme, recent strong performance, and its plans for growth.

Samer Halawi, CEO of Thuraya, said:

“During what is a challenging period for the global MSS industry, the turnaround at Thuraya over the last two years continues.

We are now firmly established as a trusted international MSS operator and global telecommunications provider, serving more than thirty government organisations and an array of blue chip customers in 160 countries worldwide.

We are expanding into new markets, introducing new products and are driving innovation in an industry where technological advancement has traditionally been slow compared to mobile terrestrial players.

The significant recent improvement in our financial numbers is clear evidence that Thuraya is moving in the right direction strategically and operationally.

In 2013, Thuraya’s revenues grew 15% over 2012 to US$122 million, a considerable increase on the 4% revenue growth seen between 2011 and 2012.  Pleasingly, this growth was achieved organically and without any material dependency on one-off events or price increases.  Moreover, this growth for two consecutive years now was achieved at a time when troop withdrawal and other factors have caused our competitors to report declining revenues. Our various new multi-year deals (such as those with SMART Communications in the Philippines and SoftBank Mobile of Japan) are increasingly contributing to recurring revenues.

Service revenues for 2013 totalled US$90 million, accounting for approximately 73% of total revenues, while Equipment revenues totalled US$32 million.  In contrast to the rest of the industry, Thuraya’s voice revenues are on the rise (up 14% in 2013, mainly due to our expansion into Asia and our strategic agreement with SoftBank Mobile), while our higher margin data revenues are showing accelerating growth and rose 26% during the year, on the back of best-in-class equipment and market- oriented business models.

Building our maritime business is a key focus for Thuraya.  We have just expanded our product portfolio and launched our first dedicated maritime broadband terminal to target the full spectrum of the maritime market, as well as to offer a back-up service for the high-end section of that market in alliance with Fixed Satellite Services operators and system integrators.

Perhaps surprisingly 20% of the world’s population does not yet have access to mobile services and there is clearly scope for Thuraya to grow in markets where terrestrial infrastructure is limited, including in the geographically-challenging, fast-growing Asian markets and, increasingly, in Africa.

In 2013 we launched services in Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia and the Philippines and our success across Asia-Pacific can be seen by the significant growth in revenues from the region, up from US$3 million in 2010 to US$18 million in 2013.  Of particular note were our agreement to offer mobile satellite services and products in China and our maritime agreement with SMART in the Philippines, which will benefit thousands of vessels across Thuraya’s footprint.

Innovation is a key driver of our strategy and to opening up new markets and we were delighted to launch the Thuraya SatSleeve last year.  A game-changing industry first, the SatSleeve pioneers the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to the satellite world. The SatSleeve transforms iPhones and Android phones into satellite smartphones with full walk-and-talk voice and data capabilities.  Reaction to the SatSleeve has been very positive and points to the significant potential from the convergence of terrestrial and satellite technologies, an area where Thuraya is uniquely well-qualified and positioned.

Although growth-oriented, we have still managed to boost our profitability and our 2013 EBITDA increased 29% over 2012 to US$36 million.  We have restructured our debt on improved terms and are the least leveraged participant in the global MSS industry.

Following our recent successes, we are now looking to take Thuraya to the next stage of its development, possibly working with a new strategic partner (commercial, financial or a combination of  both) to enable the business to grow at a still faster rate, to unlock more value, and to finance potential unique next- generation capabilities. Thuraya is looking to expand its scope, reach, and coverage from two-thirds of the world to becoming truly global.

Our strategic focus is now on driving Thuraya’s expansion through innovation in everything we do and on building recurring revenues and a higher margin business to the extent that by 2018, we expect to have doubled our revenues from their level in 2011 when we started our transformation programme.”

About Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Thuraya Telecommunications Company is an industry leading MSS operator and a global telecommunication provider offering innovative communications solutions to a variety of sectors including energy, broadcast media, maritime, military and humanitarian NGO. Thuraya’s superior network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two thirds of the globe by satellite and across the whole planet through its unique GSM roaming capabilities. The company’s diverse range of technologically superior and highly reliable mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency. Thuraya remains committed to serving humanity through delivering the essential tools for optimal connectivity, never leaving anyone out of reach. Visit:

For further information please contact:
Shereen Hanafi
Director of Communications, Thuraya
Tel: + 971-4-4488-888, Email:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Toby Mountford / Toby Moore
+44207 638 9571

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