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SES has signed agreements for a further three UHD channels to be launched by the end of the year, and these are in addition to the 4K service already announced for Sky Deutschland and a shopping channel (pearl.tv) scheduled to launch in September.
CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh, in the SES half-year financial statement, said that revenues of €999 million (up 6.4 per cent y-o-y) with profit after tax up 13.9 per cent to €340 million.
However, currency fluctuations (and a strong US dollar) and later-than-expected launch schedule of SES-9 will impact revenues during this upcoming half-year, with (therefore) Full Year growth expectations falling by around -3 per cent (and EBITDA by -3.5 per cent).
Sabbagh said that channel growth on the SES fleet remained strong with HDTV channels growing 13.9 per cent. SES is now carrying 6963 channels in total and 2069 in HD.
Contract backlog is €7.4 billion. The all-important satellite utilisation rate is 72.5 per cent (the same as last year).
But Sabbagh report further problems with some of the SES fleet. Further power degradation was noticed on AMC-15 (fully contracted to EchoStar) and on NSS-6 (five transponders) as well as AMC-8 and AMC-10.
SES has a total of seven new satellites under procurement and scheduled for launch between now (in essence Q4 this year) and H1/2017.