Steady half year for SES

DetailsEditor | 25 July 2015

Leading satellite operator SES has revealed a solid start to the first half of 2015 with all of its global business lines delivering growth.

For the six months ended 30 June 2015, the company reported revenues of €999.1 million, up 6.4% year on year, with solid growth in the video, mobility and government sectors. This was the driver of EBITDA of €740.0 million, up 6.7% at constant FX, at a margin of 74.1%. Whilst solidly in the black for the half year, SES cautioned that full year 2015 growth expectations had been lowered to around -3% for revenue and around -3.5% for EBITDA at constant FX, mainly due to impact of a stronger US dollar in the depressed fixed data business and reduced capacity available to serve the vertical.

However video was a big winner for SES with the HDTV channel roster up 13.9% (year-on-year) to 2,069, and with five commercial Ultra HD agreements signed. The company’s sector reach grew by a further 7% to 312 million TV households, a quarter of the global total, benefiting said SES, from the development of a presence in the areas with the strongest future growth potential.

SES's global fleet now carries over 25% of the world's HD TV channels broadcast over satellite – the highest number of any operator. In Europe SES's video business showed increases in reach from 151 million to 154 million TV households and additional growth in HD TV channels. During the period, SES secured a long-term contract to broadcast BBC World News in HD. The free-to-air international news channel is being broadcast from the 19.2 degrees East orbital position.

Commenting on the results, SES president and CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh said: "SES has continued to make progress across the business in H1 2015 in delivering on our clear strategy of globalisation, verticalisation and dematuring…SES has continued to globalise, with International now accounting for 30% of revenue...We are building differentiating capabilities in four market verticals where satellite has a clear right-to-win. Our HDTV channels grew by a further 13.9% and SES recently signed Europe's first commercial Ultra HD channel. This was followed by the agreement with Sky Deutschland for additional capacity for UHD broadcasts. This was also complemented by further client agreements for three UHD channels to be launched by the end of this year.”