Bausch warns on recessionary pressures

Julian Clover | April 24, 2009 | 08:20 UK

SES president and CEO Romain Bausch has warned the satellite operator might still be impacted by the current negative position of the global markets. This despite a strong first quarter that delivered a year-on-year increase of 8.4% taking revenues to €423.9 million.

“Should the recessionary environment last into 2010, it is possible that SES might suffer some negative impact, whether through the reduction of growth initiatives or as a result of customers experiencing difficulties. However, at this point, SES has experienced no direct negative impact,” Bausch said in a statement. “The majority of our customers have solid businesses and many are still demonstrating healthy growth.”
The company is maintaining the positive guidance issued in February this year.

In its first quarter financials SES reported EBITDA of €308.9 million, an increase of 12.2% over Q1 2008. Group profits stood at €121.8 million, an increase of 0.7% over the prior year period.

SES said an additional four high definition channels were available on the Astra fleet today, adding to the 64 in situ at the end of 2008. TF1 HD, France 2 HD, M6 HD and ARTE HD have commenced broadcasting as part of the TNTSAT offer. Germany’s Premiere and Sky Link, serving the Czech and Slovak markets, have also contracted for new HD capacity.