Advanced Television

SES Q1 revenues up 9.6%

May 4, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SES has reported a “solid” set of numbers with revenue of €490 million (+9.6 per cent YOY) including contribution from DRS Global Enterprise Solutions and a stronger US dollar. SES says it signed €90 million in new business for its Mobility division, and €110 million in either renewals or new business in Video. But Video revenues still fell back 5 per cent.
SES Networks revenue of €248 million increased 2.9 per cent year-on-year, compared with Q1 2022, with double digit growth in Mobility (of +14.4 per cent) and a robust outturn in Government (-0.6 per cent), offsetting Fixed Data lower revenue (-1.6 per cent) which included periodic revenue of €7 million in Q1 2023.
Mobility revenues were impressive, and up 14.4 per cent “with strong growth in Cruise”.
Video revenue of €242 million represented a reduction of 8.3 per cent year-on-year compared with Q1 2022, or 5 per cent year-on-year excluding periodic revenue of €10 million which was recognised in Q1 2022.  In Video its total contract backlog of €2.5 billion “underpinning strong long-term cash generation fundamentals,” says SES.
SES overall contract backlog on March 31st 2023 was €4.7 billion (€5.9 billion gross backlog including backlog with contractual break clauses).
In its financial statement, SES did little to add any fresh news to the reports that it was in talks with rival operator Intelsat. It repeated previous ‘boilerplate’ comments, stating: “On 29 March 2023, in response to rumours in the market, SES confirmed that the company has engaged in discussions regarding a possible combination with Intelsat. At this stage, there can be no certainty that a transaction would materialise. The Board of SES remains fully committed to acting in the best interest of SES and its shareholders.”
This suggests that the merger talks are currently ongoing and have not been scrubbed.
As to the all-important C-band clearing of frequencies for 5G re-versioning in the US, SES says that all its replacement satellites are now in place and that 95 per cent of satellite transitions have been completed and more than 90 per cent of head-end filters installs have been completed.

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