Satellite operator SES, reporting its Q3 figures, says it has delivered strong growth in Western Europe and International markets, with revenue of €1.4066 billion for the year to date, up 4.7 per cent over the prior year.
It says it remains well placed to deliver long-term growth, expanding its core DTH business by securing rights to two new orbital positions in Brazil, with five new satellites now scheduled to be launched by the end of 2017, including three satellites to expand coverage in Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets.
Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO, commented: “In the year to date, SES has delivered strong growth in Western Europe and International markets complemented by advances in key target markets and business verticals. The procurement of SES-11, which we announced in September 2014, extends our long standing strategic partnership with EchoStar. HD+ in Germany has just celebrated its five-year anniversary, with its reach growing to almost three million households. O3b Networks, a company in which SES has a significant equity interest, entered into commercial service on 1 September 2014 and is on track to activate the majority of the 30 or so committed clients by the end of the year,” he advised.
“We are focused on delivering growth through the commercialisation of recently launched high quality capacity in different regions, while maximising the benefits that our financial and operational strengths allow. Nevertheless, in the short term, external factors have impacted revenue development. Our continued focus on operational optimisation has translated into improved margin and delivered a strong EBITDA performance. We have accordingly adjusted the FY 2014 guidance to reflect these developments,” he said.
According to Sabbagh, SES’s core business remains well positioned for the future media environment. “Our strategy to build new DTH neighbourhoods is gaining momentum and innovation continually delivers new opportunities to support our long-term profitable growth.”
At 30 September 2014, the group’s fully protected contract backlog was €7.3 billion, an amount approximating to four times 2013 group revenue.
Available transponder capacity increased by 4.4 per cent compared to 30 September 2013, from 1,469 to 1,534, while utilised capacity rose by 2.0 per cent, from 1,088 to 1,110 transponders. At 30 September 2014, the group satellite fleet had a utilisation rate of 72.4 per cent.
A significant contribution to the revenue growth during the first half of 2014 was the sale of eight transponders to Eutelsat at 28.5E as part of the comprehensive agreement signed in January 2014.