Blaming the cost of gaining more subscribers than anticipated, Hughes Electronics – owner of America’s number one satellite television service DirecTV – posted a first-quarter loss of $156.4 million (€177.7m; £108.8m), wider than the $105.3m in Q1 last year.

Total revenues increased almost 8% year-on-year to $2.04 billion, while those from DirecTV’s flagship US operations surged nearly 11% to $1.47bn. The firm gained 342,000 American subscribers in the quarter, ahead of expectations, allowing it to raise its full-year customer addition forecast from one million to 1.2m.

However, there was not such good news from DirecTV Latin America, which added only 32,000 subscribers during the quarter to bring the regional total to 1.64m. Hit by South America’s economic problems, the unit has reduced by nearly 20% its forecasts of revenues and customer addition for 2002 as a whole.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff