Advanced Television

SES: “No meaningful growth until 2019”

November 3, 2017

Another negative report on satellite operator SES has emerged from investment bank Berenberg. The bank downgraded its advice to investors from “Buy” to “Hold”, saying a combination of delayed satellite launches, satellite health issues and the termination of low-value added contracts means that – in the bank’s view – SES will not deliver meaningful growth until Q4/2018.

“Until then,” says the bank, “we think the shares will tread water given the market’s loss of faith in SES”.

The low value contracts are within the SES-owned MX1 playout and facilities division, itself beset by senior management turmoil.

The bank praised the operator’s video division saying that its Q3 numbers were slightly better than forecast, and helped by sales, and in particular the UHD capacity leased by Germany’s QVC channel.

But in total, the bank says it is now taking a more cautious approach on the prospects for SES, saying that if investors are patient there could be value in the medium to long term, and there are prospects of “strong growth” with 2019 achieving 6 per cent as a possible. “Nevertheless, the market is unlikely to believe in a brighter outlook until SES has returned to organic growth.”

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