New markets boost SES growth
Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES reported further revenue growth on July 27 (for the six months to June 30) citing successes in winning business from new markets as being partly responsible. Revenues were up 4.8 per cent over the same period last year (to €892 million) and generating an operating profit up 2.4 per cent to €411.5 million, and at an improved margin of 74.6 per cent (74.2 per cent).
President/CEO Romain Bausch said that while European revenues were flat, not helped by the remaining unused 32 transponders that used to supply analogue TV for German viewers (German analogue was switched off in April). However, huge progress had been made in reallocating these transponders, and nine were sold during the period. Overall utilisation for the Astra European fleet stood at 81.4 per cent.
He also reported that HD+ – the platform for HD Free-To-Air broadcasts in Germany – continues its successful deployment with 14 broadcasters now sending out encrypted HDTV signals, attracting 634,000 subscribers. Bausch said that SES expects this number to reach 1 million by year-end.
North American revenues fell back slightly (by 2.4 per cent) not helped by technical problems on the AMC-15 and AMC-16 craft.
But it was SES’s ‘international’ division that created the most excitement with revenues up 8 per cent (y-o-y) and a slew of new orders and contracts secured. International utilisation grew by 48 transponders, and with an overall fill rate of 74.2 per cent. Across the whole fleet, SES had ‘filled’ 1042 transponders out of a total of 1354 commercially available.