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SES sees revenue drop

Satellite operator SES saw its revenues drop by 5.2% on a like-for-like basis last year, posting revenue of €2.035 billion for the full year.

The company reported EBITDA of €1.324 billion, down 7.6% on a like-for-like basis.

SES is suffering from many of the problems that have affected the satellite business as a whole. Video revenues dropped by 3.6% on a like-for-like basis, attributed to the competitive market environment. SES was also hit by the non-renewal of some contracts to “specific short-term factors” at media services arm MX1.

SES Networks revenue dropped significantly in the fourth quarter and full-year revenue was also down, attributed to the comparative impact of a significant mobility transponder sale in the fourth quarter of 2016. However, the unit more than doubled its sales volume.

SES’s order backlog was flat year-on-year at €7.6 billion in constant currency terms.

Outgoing president and CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh said that the company was “now well positioned to deliver groth in the future” having created two new units – SES Video and SES Networks – in the course of the year.

“We are starting to see the benefits of our investment programme with three new satellites successfully launched in 2017 and another two already launched in 2018. These, along with other planned launches for 2018 and 2019, will bring much needed capacity and customer-specific capabilities to our fleet, particularly in the rapidly growing aeronautical market, that will underpin our future growth,” said Sabbagh.

“As part of our strategic transformation, we have launched our ‘Fit-for-Growth’ programme that will optimise and focus the allocation of our world-class resources and increase internal efficiencies. As we continue to adapt to the new operating and financial model, and invest in our future growth, we have decided to rebase our dividend, allowing for growth in future years as our business develops.”