Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (SPCE) saw its financial situation change drastically in the second quarter as the space tourism company officially began flying paying customers. Though the company has yet to prove its business model profitable, it’s plowing in significantly more revenue as amateur astronauts line up. Virgin Galactic yesterday (August 1) reported revenue of $1.9 million for the quarter ended June 30, up from just $357,000 in the same period a year ago. Quarterly revenue was driven by “commercial spaceflight and membership fees related to future astronauts,” the Branson-owned company said.
Nevertheless, net loss came at $134.4 million, or $0.46 a share, up from $110.7 million last year, during the quarter due to “an increase in research and development expenses related to the development of the future fleet,” Virgin Galactic said. Virgin Galactic is aiming to fly customers monthly with its current vehicle, VSS Unity. It is developing a next-generation spacecraft known as Delta-Class to fly passengers weekly. The company spent $87 million on research and development in the April-June quarter, up from $62 million a year ago, and incurred $51 million in other expenses. Virgin Galactic successfully flew its first commercial flight on June 29. It expects to fly the second commercial spaceflight on Aug. 10 with three private astronauts.
“Our financial position remains strong, and we remain focused on scaling the business and delivering our Delta Class spaceships for commercial service in 2026,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement yesterday. The company expects to generate $1 million in revenue in the current quarter and the fourth quarter of 2023. Virgin Galactic shares fell 6 percent today as the broader market turned down.