2016 was marked by an excellent performance in the manufacturing sector, which reported a considerable increase in production volumes both in telecommunication and earth observation programmes, in particular for institutional clients, and an improvement in industrial profits compared to the previous year, which had been affected, among other things, by costs recognised on a specific programme. This phenomenon, together with the effects of cost curbing actions, entailed a similar improvement in the result from operations, involving the provision of satellite services, despite being affected by a fall in revenues that was mainly attributable to the launch of the SICRAL 2 satellite that had occurred in 2015. Among the significant events that occurred in 2016 are the launch of the Turkish earth observation satellite GÖKTÜRK-1, which was conducted by Arianespace at the European spaceport located in Kourou, in the French Guiana, with the European launcher VEGA, on 5 December. On 14 December, after having positioned the satellite on its final orbit, there was the successful completion of the operation sequence of after-launch events, including the check of the satellite platform through “BUS In Orbit Tests”, thus allowing the start of the instrument calibration phase. Furthermore, in December Spaceopal, a joint-venture established between Telespazio and DLR-GIR, was awarded the GSOp (Galileo System Operator) tender, which had been launched by GSA (European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency) for the management of the operations falling within the scope of the European satellite navigation and localisation Galileo programme. The ten-year contract was signed at the offices of the European Commission in Brussels on 15 December. Of significant importance was also the launch, in March, of the ExoMars rover, resulting from the international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) and was strongly supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Finally, an additional agreement to the contract for the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) programme was signed for the completion of activities with the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, ASI) in November.
Outlook. In 2017 it is expected that revenues will record a further increase, which will be mainly attributable to the manufacturing segment, in line with the trend reported during 2016, and that the levels of profitability will remain stable in line with those recorded in the financial year just ended.