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SES sees further decline in video business

Satellite operator SES’s CEO said that the company’s year-to-date results to Q3 were once again in line with expectations after the Luxembourg-based player posted revenues of €1.452 billion, down 3.9% at constant currency.

Underlying revenue for the nine months was €1.434 billion, down 3.6%, with video down 8.1% and networks down 5.1%.

The video business turned in €904.5 million, with Q3 revenues of €300.7 million down 6.4%. SES said that the year-to-date change was driven by lower distribution and se4rvices revenue, including from the US wholesale business, which was impacted by a specific customer.

In Europe, the effect of certain long-term renewals secured in late 2018 and the reversal of some short-term capacity contracts that ended during Q3 2018 led to lower year-on-year revenue.

SES said that while trading conditions remain challenging, it had made progress in its International business with new customer contracts signed, albeit not yet offsetting the impact of challenges in specific markets.

The group continues to anticipate “results to show in the Fall” regarding the refarming of C-band spectrum, citing FCC chairman Ajit Pai. Opinions have varied about how much of a windfall the sale of C-band spectrum will produce for satellite operators.

“For the seventh consecutive quarter, our results are in line with our expectations and with the outlook that we have given to the market, reflecting our on-going focus on execution in the core of our business. As expected, we are seeing revenue and EBITDA expansion flowing through in the second half of 2019 with strong control over costs and discretionary spending and the continued rationalisation and simplification of our business and organisation. Execution remains the focus for the rest of the year as we look to close out 2019 with a strong Q4 outturn, much as we did in 2018 and implied in our financial outlook which remains unchanged,” said CEO Steve Collar.

“In video, we completed the combination of our infrastructure and services capabilities; launched a dedicated TV platform in Ethiopia; secured important renewals in our core neighbourhoods; and introduced new products, such as a Satellite/OTT synchronisation capability, managed cloud playout through our partnership with Microsoft Azure and the further development of our in-house orchestration platform SES 360.”