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Gilat order backlog hits US$250mn year-end

Bnamericas Published: Monday, January 06, 2003
The order backlog at Israeli VSAT operator Gilat Satellite Networks (Nasdaq: GILTF) reached about US$250mn in 2002, thanks to major third and fourth quarter contracts signed in Latin American and other regions, Gilat said in its 3Q02 earnings statement. The backlog should translate into revenues of about US$120mn during 2003, the company said. Recent contracts currently on backlog include two social telephony projects worth US$65mn with the Colombian government. Meanwhile, Brazil's communications ministry selected Gilat to provide satellite Internet service to 3,200 sites nationwide, in a contract worth US$22mn. Also in Brazil, local satellite operator Star One added 2,000 Gilat VSAT terminals to its network of 3,700 terminals. Despite the new contracts, Gilat posted a US$108mn third quarter loss because of write-offs associated with subsidiary companies, doubtful accounts and inventory adjustments, and transponder termination costs, among others. Revenues for the third quarter were US$43mn. On a positive note, Gilat said it has scheduled a February 5 meeting with bondholders and bank lenders to approve its debt restructuring plan. That meeting follows a December statement that Gilat and its creditors and agreed to the plan. "The company is moving forward in anticipation of completing the restructuring plan in 1Q03," Gilat said. Israel-based Gilat is a major provider of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite network technology, with nearly 400,000 VSATs shipped worldwide.

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