SES posts ‘solid’ results but video business declines

Satellite operator SES has posted what it described as solid year-to-date results with reported revenues and EBITDA both up, although revenues were down on a like-for-like basis at constant currency.

Revenue for the year to date amounted to €1.4 billion, up 6.1% on a reported basis, with adjusted EBITDA up 0.7% to €829 million.

On a like-for-like basis, revenues were down 2.1% for the first nine months.

Sales were pushed lower by the video business. Video revenues were down 5.6%, with a 6.5% drop in Q3.

SES said that Video revenue of €763 million included he planned impact of lower US wholesale revenue and periodic revenue of €10 million in Q1 2022.

Elsewhere, video sales in mature markets declined partly offset by growth in HD+ and in sports and events.

As of 30 September, SES delivered around 8,000 total TV channels to 366 million TV homes around the world, including around 3,100 high definition TV channels. Some 73% of total TV channels are broadcast in MPEG-4 with an additional 6% broadcast in HEVC.

SES’s Networks business grew, boosted by mobility revenues, offset by declining government business.

The company is moving ahead with its MEO plans meanwhile, with the first of its O3b mPOWER launch is scheduled for 15 December with two further launches scheduled in Q1 2023,

The constellation will enter service in Q3 next year, but SES said that customers are now starting to receive O3b mPOWER ground technology that will be deployed initially on its existing MEO constellation.

CEO Steve Collar said that the successful launches of three C-band satellites, meanwhile, would ‘de-risk’ the second phase of clearing C-band spectrum in the US. He said that SES had a “clear line of sight to $3 billion in accelerated clearing payments due at the end of 2023” while the company will also receive the bulk of US$170 million from C-band clearing for Verizon before the end of this year.

“Our year-to-date performance reflects solid ongoing execution across the business and we remain fully on track to deliver on our 2022 outlook, to capture significant value from US C-band, and to position SES for profitable long- term growth through the deployment of our state-of-the-art multi-orbit assets and architecture,” said Collar.

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