Arianespace, the European partnership that makes space rockets, expects this year’s revenue to exceed 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) as it launches 10 to 12 satellites worldwide, the head of the group said.
“Globally, I think demand will not increase so much but there is a move in the areas of demand,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall said in an interview in Dubai today. “We are moving from a situation where demand was spread equally in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia to demand that is moving more towards Middle East and Asia.”
Arianespace, which sends more than 50 percent of commercial satellites worldwide into orbit every year, may win one or two orders for telecommunications satellites in the Middle East this year, the CEO said. The company’s 2011 revenue also exceeded 1 billion euros.
The Evry, France-based company has been in the Middle East for more than 30 years and launched the first satellite for Arab Satellite Communications Organization, known as Arabsat, in 1995. To date, it has launched eight satellites for the organization, which was started by the Arab League in 1976.
Arianespace also worked with Al Yah Satellite Communications Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co., for its Y1A satellite.
“We are enthusiastic about this area because there are a lot of projects and a lot of dynamism,” the CEO said. “This is one area in the planet where space is very active because of all the projects either for telecommunications or for observation.”
When asked which companies might award Arianespace contracts, Le Gall said: “Arabsat have plans and Yahsat have plans so we’ll see.”
For the Middle East, the company has a market share of more than 50 percent, said Le Gall.