SES reports strong results but warns on future

Satellite operator SES’s chairman Romain Bausch believes the company could be affected by challenging economic conditions if they continue into 2010, although he noted that the satellite industry is yet to have been impacted by the crisis to-date. The company posted strong first quarter results, with revenues of €423.9m, a rise of 8.4% year-on-year. EBITDA was up 12.2% to €308.9m.

Speaking during the presentation of SES’s first quarter results, Bausch said: “It’s clear that no company is immune against the recessionary environment over a long period. Should the recessionary environment remain until 2010 we might also suffer some negative impact, whether through the reduction of growth initiatives or as a result of customers facing difficulties.” However, he added that this was “hypothetical” and said that the satellite industry was currently one of the few sectors that was “not really impacted by the current economic climate”.

Bausch also revealed that the company had secured a €2bn syndicated credit loan facility in addition to a loan of €200m from the European Investment Bank. He said future growth would continue to come from additional satellite launches, with nine satellites under construction that would lead to a 19% increase in commercially available transponder capacity. “This is the engine for our future growth.” Bausch said.