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EchoStar Revenue Jumps 28%

Englewood, Colo. — EchoStar Communications reported total revenue of $1.9 billion for the fourth quarter, a 28 percent increase over the $1.5 billion recorded in the year-ago period.

Net income for the three months, ended Dec. 31, reached $70.1 million, up from $2.7 million in the same three months in 2003.

Total revenue for the 12 months rose 25 percent to $7.2 billion, compared with a year-earlier $5.7 billion. However, net income for the year totaled $214.8 million, down from $224.5 million for all of 2003.

The Dish Network added about 430,000 net new subscribers in the fourth quarter, giving the company a total of 10.9 million subscribers at the end of December 2004, an increase of 1.5 million subscribers, or 15.7 percent, over the 9.4 registered at the end of 2003.

Subscriber-related revenue for Dish totaled $6.7 billion for the 12 months, a 23.4 percent increase over the same period in 2003. The increase was directly attributable to continued Dish Network subscriber growth and the increase in monthly average revenue per subscriber (ARPU).

ARPU was about $54.87 for the year ended last December, compared with $51.21 during the same 12 months the previous year. The 7.1 percent increase is mainly attributable to price increases on popular packages of up to $2 in February 2004 and 2003, and from equipment sales and installation services. Monthly subs increased an average of $3.66 over the monthly average in 2003.

Monthly churn percentage in 2004 reached 1.62 percent, compared with 1.57 percent in 2003, while average subscriber acquisition costs dropped to $444 in 2004, down from $453 the previous year.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission EchoStar said an internal audio found significant deficiencies in its internal controls over financial reporting, but these findings would not need any adjustments in past financial reporting. The company said changes have been made to operating and control policies and procedures.