WorldSpace, Inc on Friday reported its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2005. The satellite-based digital radio service finished the year with 115,306 subscribers. The company added 40,235 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2005, an increase of approximately 160 per cent over the 15,545 subscribers added in fourth quarter of 2004.
In India, the company had 74,574 subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2005, up over 100 per cent from 35,670 at the end of the third quarter of 2005 and up nearly 800 per cent from 8,335 at the start of the year.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2005, WorldSpace had rolled out its satellite radio services in nine cities in India – Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Service in Kolkata was launched in February 2006. WorldSpace’s market distribution is now available to a population of nearly 63 million, including nearly 35 million people in the top three economic segments targeted by the company.
Commenting on the results, Noah Samara, Chairman and CEO, WorldSpace, said, “WorldSpace made important progress against all of our key operational metrics during the fourth quarter of 2005, especially in delivering strong subscriber growth. We believe we have gained significant traction in our efforts to acquire new subscribers, and will continue to do so as our visibility and brand awareness grow with the rollout of our service to additional metropolitan areas, supported by targeted marketing campaigns. We have also made great strides in building our senior management teams, internationally and at the corporate level, by adding quality people with key areas of expertise that will be critical to our forward momentum.”
WorldSpace has also obtained terrestrial repeater licenses in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the first L-band terrestrial repeater licenses for satellite radio.
Samara said, “2006 is a pivotal year for WorldSpace. We are working hard to gain key regulatory approvals for the delivery of mobile services in certain markets, and to increase the variety of our receivers. We are moving into more cities in India and we are gaining strength in other countries, where subscribers can be added at little incremental cost. We started the year well with the FCC’s approval of our license application for our Afristar-2 satellite, which when launched, will enable us to broaden our offerings in Europe and the Middle East.”