Satellite operator SES has posted solid first half results on the back of strong growth in capacity sales in Europe and other territories outside the US, where its top line took a hit from the loss of government contracts.
SES posted revenues of €938.9 million for the six months to June, up 6.3% at contant exchange rates and 3.1% as reported, with EBITDA of €693.8 million, up 7.4% at constant exchange rates or 4.8% as reported.
The company had a contract backlog of €7.2 billion at the end of June.
European revenue increased by 13.7% on a constant exchange basis to €514.7 million, boosted by sales of capacity to Sky Deutschland and to rival Eutelsat at the 28.5° East position – the result of the pair’s settlement of there frequency rights dispute at that position. Other developments included the growth of SES’s HD+ platform in Germany, which had 1.5 million paying customers at the end of June, up 29% year-on-year, with a further 1.3 million in a free trial phase.
North American revenue declined by 13.5% to €167.2 million on a constnt exhange basis, while revenue from other territories grew 8.2% to €257 million, boosted by Brazilian DTH growth.
“SES’s continuing successful development and execution of the 2014 plan has delivered robust first half results that validate our strategy to address target regions and market verticals. Video remains core to our business. Europe and the International segments posted strong growth, while the North American segment continued to be affected by the U.S. Government budget sequester. The 2014 financial guidance is reiterated,” said Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO.
“Three satellites were brought into service in the period, further developing our capabilities in Europe, MENA and Asia-Pacific. Four more satellites are under construction, including the newly announced SES-12, a hybrid satellite for the Asia-Pacific region, which will benefit from the dual innovations of an HTS payload and all-electric propulsion.These programmes, all components of our medium term CapEx plan, will enhance our differentiated positioning in the developing markets that we are targeting. On 10 July 2014, O3b Networks, the satellite company building ‘Fibre in the Sky’, in which SES has a significant interest, successfully launched its second group of four satellites. O3b’s full suite of commercial services will be offered once in-orbit testing is completed. We look forward to O3b’s successful commercialisation of its product range with customers across the underserved markets of the world.”