Proton delays fail to dent SES
10.56 Europe/London, November 11, 2011 By Julian Clover

Delays in the Russian Proton launch programme ate into SES revenues in the third quarter. The loss of Ekspress-AM4 meant that QuetzSat-1 was launched two months later than planned, while SES-4 was put back into late December. Meanwhile SES-5 has now moved into Q2 2012.

SES said the delays meant a revenue shortfall of some €10 million, though year to date recurring revenue still rose by 3% to €1,283.4 million, and profit moved ahead by 34.3% to €446.7 million.

The satellite fill rate increased to 81%, from 78.7% on 2010, new capacity being taken by Ukrainian operator Zeonbud at 31.5 degrees East to support the rollout of digital terrestrial TV in Ukraine. ProSiebenSat.1 signed an agreement for an additional transponder to extend its Austrian HDTV line-up, while the Austrian state broadcaster also contracted an additional transponder for its own HD and SD services. In Georgia, broadcaster Magticom has initiated its DTH platform – the first in Georgia – through three transponders at 31.5 degrees East.

In September. SES and Gazprom Space System (GSS) entered into a strategic partnership to provide additional satellite capacity for the Russian market.

Under the terms of a multi-year agreement between the two parties, SES has relocated its Astra 1F satellite from 51 to 55 degrees East.