HD drives SES European growth

February 21, 2014 11.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

ses-chateauHD continues to be a significant growth driver for SES in Western Europe and at year’s end one in five (21%) of the channels it distributed in the content as a whole were in the format.

Latest results published by the company show that the number of channels broadcast over SES satellites in Europe grew 14% to 2,359 in 2013, of which 488 were in HD.

Market penetration also grew, with ASO of satellite signals and the success of the HD+ platform in Germany adding a further 500,000 satellite homes, bringing the total in the country to over 18 million.

Across Europe, Astra served 143 million households, including those indirectly via cable and IPTV and in Astra ended the year serving 73% of the 85 million satellite TV homes and 80% of 35 million satellite HD homes.

SES notes that HD+ had over 1.4 million paying customers at year’s end, up 49% on 12 months earlier.

Its plans for 2014 include the introduction of three new channels in April and raising the technical access fee to €60 per annum in May.

Revenues in Europe increased by 1.4% to €938.4 million in 2013 at a constant FX basis and by 6.3% ex analogue.

SES posted revenues of €1,862.5 million in 2013, up by 3.4% on a year earlier at constant FX and 5.9% excluding analogue, at constant FX. EBITDA amounted to €1,364.7 million, up 2.8% at constant FX and 6.2% excluding analogue, at constant FX.

Its profit fell by 12.7% to €566.5 million but rose 4.7% when excluding a one-off 2012 tax release impact (€107.9 million).