Alcatel Space believes it can equal 2003's satellite order intake despite having achieved only half of last year's total so far in 2004. The company continues to restructure as part of its cross purchase deal with Italian holding company Finmeccanica.

The company's chairman and chief executive Pascale Sourisse says that so far this year the company has concluded two deals, compared with four by this time in 2003. Although satellite orders are down Sourisse still expects revenue growth above 10% for 2004 largely because of payload contracts.

Sourisse says: "You have to look at the orders over two to three years. We are expecting the market to become more active in 2005. Our 2004 satellite orders are lower than 2003, the situation is not much better than 2002." She adds that Alcatel hopes to receive two more orders by the end of December, but will not identify possible clients.

Meanwhile, the restructuring of the company will see it change its name and merge with Alenia Spazio. Alcatel Space will become Alcatel Alenia Space at the end of the year when the deal between the company's parent, Alcatel, and Finmeccanica should be finalised. Sourisse is confident the negotiations will be successfully concluded but says she does not know if she will head the combined company.

* The Worldsat-2 satellite has entered final tests in preparation for its launch by year-end. Alcatel Space is building the Spacebus 6000-series satellite for Worldsat, a subsidiary of SES Americom.



Source: Flight International