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SES Q1: €100m share buy-back

May 6, 2021

By Chris Forrester

SES used its Q1 results statement to announce a €100 million share buy-back programme, declaring that it had made a strong start to this financial year.

Its currently all-important Video division is moving steadily forward. SES has seen Video revenues grow from a minus 8 per cent overall y-o-y fall to a minus 4.6 per cent y-o-y for Q1. Overall, its Q1 revenues declined by 2.8 per cent y-o-y.

Video underlying revenue of €263 million represents a reduction of 4.6 per cent year-on-year (at constant FX), compared with -8.0 per cent year-on-year in FY 2020, where lower revenue from mature markets was partially offset by higher revenues generated across International markets and growth in the number of paying consumers subscribing to HD+ in Germany.

Its growing in importance Networks division’s underlying revenue of €173 million was flat compared with Q1 2020 (+0.1 per cent at constant FX) with strong ongoing growth in Government (+8.5 per cent) offsetting COVID-related impacts on Mobility (-9.1 per cent), while Fixed Data (-1.0 per cent) was in line with the prior period.

“SES has, today, announced a share buyback programme of up to €100 million to be executed by 31 December 2021 under the authorisation given by the AGM of shareholders held on 1 April 2021. SES will purchase up to 12 million A-shares and up to 6 million B-shares in equal proportion to maintain the ratio of two A-shares to one B-share, as required by the Articles of Association. The shares acquired under the programme are intended to be cancelled, reducing the total number of voting and economic shares,” said the company.

Highlights of the Q1 results statement include:

  • Over 85 per cent of 2021 revenue outlook (€1,760-1,820 million) already under contract
  • $180 million of backlog signed in 2021 for SES-17 and O3b mPOWER with gross backlog at $740 million; timed to come to market as the world emerges from the COVID environment with highly differentiated products and solutions to capture substantial connectivity growth opportunity
  • US C-band clearing on track to meet end-2021 milestone (triggering $1 billion payment) and end-2023 milestone (triggering a further $3 billion payment.

“We have made a strong start to 2021 with the resilience of our Video business to the fore on the back of a number of important renewals and extensions secured at our core European neighbourhoods. Networks business performance was also solid in Q1, notwithstanding the near-term COVID environment, with new deal flow beginning to pick up. We continue our laser focus on removing cost from the business and minimising discretionary spend with a 7per cent y-o-y reduction in operating expenses, leading to improving EBITDA margin. In summary, our start to the year puts us firmly on track to deliver on our 2021 financial outlook which remains unchanged.,” said CEO Steve Collar.

“I am excited by the progress that we are making in securing customer commitments for SES-17 and O3b mPOWER ahead of launch in the second half of 2021, and the level of market interest that we are seeing across all Networks verticals. These important growth investments allow us to offer a significantly expanded set of low latency products and solutions to the market as the world emerges from the COVID environment and demand for connectivity increases exponentially. We are also on course with the clearing of C-band in the US and are continuing to pursue opportunities to create additional shareholder value from further monetisation initiatives,” Collar added.

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