Astra revenues up 4%

Satellite operator SES increased revenues by 4.2% in the first quarter to €428.4 million. EBITDA was up 3.5% to €321.5 million.

Announcing its first quarter results, SES reiterated the findings of its recent Satellite Monitor report that showed SES Astra satellites reach 135 million TV households in Europe, an 8% increase over 2009. This represents 55% of all TV households in Europe.  Of these households, 57.6 million have DTH reception.  Astra said it now broadcasts 211 HD TV channels, up from 190 at the end of 2010.

“SES’s financial results are on track, reflecting business developments in the first quarter,” said Romain Bausch, president and CEO. “A number of contracts were signed for new direct-to-home and broadband services in Europe, and the development of HD programming in Germany was given a boost as the German public broadcasters committed to five transponders to follow the termination of analogue broadcasting in April 2012.”

Bausch said German analogue switch-off is on track for the end of April 2012 and analogue transmissions have reduced from 35 transponders at the end of 2010, to 33 transponders at the end of the first quarter 2011. Nine transponders have already been recontracted for digital services after the analogue switch off.