By Julian Clover
Published: October 27, 2010 09.44 Europe/London

In its 25th year of business, satellite operator SES has demonstrated there remains room for growth, turning in a nine-month revenues of €1,277 million and an operating profit up 7.9% at €591.6 million. Group profits were down slightly at €332.7 million from €363.3 million in 2009.

“SES continues to make steady progress, building on the newly launched incremental capacity on the NSS-12 and Astra 3B satellites, covering the Indian Ocean Region and Middle East, respectively. SES-7 (formerly ProtoStar-2) has been fully integrated into our fleet, and we have begun selling the Ku-band capacity into the Asian market,” said SES President and CEO Romain Bausch.

HD remains a significant growth driver, with 291 channels being broadcast across the SES fleet. 163 of these can be found within SES Astra, which is finally seeing a reduction in the number of analogue transponders looking at the German market, 38 at the end of 2009 having been reduced to 35 today. The most recent convert to digital-only broadcasts being Das Vierte. Astra expects to be carrying at least 200 channels by the end of 2011.

Last week SES announcing it was to sell its 75.1% interest in ND SatCom to

Astrium Services. SES will maintain a minority share in the equipment provider of 24.9%.