Last week SES revealed its latest set of trading numbers and while the company stressed to the market that its underlying trade was doing well, and was expected to grow by 4.5 per cent during the rest of this year, two sets of comments were taken by the market as being of key importance.
Item Number 1 was that SES is not suffering the US military and governmental cut-backs (“sequestrations”) in satellite capacity being experience by Intelsat, Eutelsat and Inmarsat. CEO Romain Bausch told investment analysts that only some 10 per cent of SES’ revenues came from government sources, and additionally much of that capacity was being used for “non-military” aspects and mostly over North America itself.
Item Number 2 was that SES has 4 satellites ready for launch over the next few months between June and October. While this information is not new, it prompted Bausch to tell analysts that half the 103 extra transponders have already been leased by clients. This represents a significant revenue stream which will start to kick in during July/August once the first satellite is in position and ready for business.
Forty-nine new transponders will come into use on the first satellite, SES-6, which International Launch Services should orbit in June aboard a Proton rocket.
Astra 2E has a net increase of 12 transponders, again on an ILS Proton rocket during July.
SES-8 has an extra 21 transponders on it and is scheduled for launch in August. This launch will have much of the world watching a little closer given that it is board Elon Musk’s SpaceX company and its Falcon-9 rocket. However, there’s a caveat, and this launch will only take place if a previous flight of the Falcon-9 is successful.
SES’ Astra 5B follows in September/October on an Ariane 5 rocket launched from French Guiana, and will add a net increase of 21 new transponders to SES’ manifest.
SES’ share price finished May 21st at €24.46, up 1 per cent on the day, and almost €2 ahead of the May 16th position.