SES strong performance continues

November 8, 2013 10.36 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Romain BauschSES has posted YTD revenues of €1,378.2 million, or 2.4% more at constant exchange rates than in the same period in 2012.

However, when excluding the €42.6 million of analogue revenue recorded last year, the increase was an even more impressive 5.7%.

YTD EDITDA was meanwhile €1,009.3 million, or 0.8% more at constant exchange rates, while the YTD profit amounted to €413.4 million, compared to €456.4 million a year earlier.

SES’s fleet utilisation rate in Europe stood at 81.8% at the end of September, while in North America and international the totals were 73.4% and 71% respectively.

In Europe, HD+ had 1.28 million paying subscribers at the end of September, or 35% more than at the start of the year. According to SES, HD+ will expand the range of channels carried and is in advanced negotiations with broadcasters who are planning HD distribution on the HD+ platform.

Commenting on the company’s results, SES president and CEO Romain Bausch said: “SES has delivered a robust performance in the year to date. We have increased our capacity and are commercialising new market opportunities.

“Forthcoming launches will further develop this capability and create the conditions for future growth. Our European business, which is almost entirely Video DTH, continues to grow (revenue +5.6%, when excluding analogue). New business and renewals with major customers, including Sky Deutschland and Arqiva, have contributed to an increase in the contract backlog to €7.4 billion. In the International segment (revenue +12.5%) we have added a number of new DTH platforms, in Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. Although the launch schedule continues to be subject to some delays, total revenue growth (excluding analogue) was 5.7%, with considerable momentum from the video business.”

“Despite some delays experienced earlier this year with regard to new satellite launches, we have significantly expanded our capacity with the launch of SES-6 in June and ASTRA 2E in September, and we now expect to launch SES-8 later this month, followed by ASTRA 5B in early December.

“SES’ 2013 revenue and EBITDA growth guidance at constant FX, of 3-4% and 2.5-3.5% respectively, and 5.5-6.5% excluding analogue, is reiterated.

“Our performance to date as well as our fleet development underscore SES’ commitment to growing its presence in the developed markets and to accelerate inroads in emerging markets. Our investments are focused on growth opportunities based on differentiated offerings and secured anchor customers in the video business. We are continuing to build DTH neighbourhoods. In the data business, the numerous contracts signed so far this year underscore the complementarity of SES’ geostationary satellite capacity with the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capabilities of the O3b Networks Mid-Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation.”

“SES is now entering a period in which capital expenditure will reduce significantly, even while additional growth investments are pursued. This, coupled with rising revenue and EBITDA, will deliver strong growth in free cash flow, which may be applied to further profitable investments and acquisitions and/or be returned to shareholders.”