SES Reports Solid Nine Months Core Infrastructure PerformanceFriday, October 23rd, 2009
LUXEMBOURG — SES S.A., the pre-eminent worldwide satellite operator, (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), reports on the financial performance in the nine months to 30 September 2009.
Infrastructure activities developed well during the quarter, although top line growth was negatively affected by the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar in the period. In the quarter SES commercialised 20 additional transponders across the fleet, raising the group transponder utilisation to 82.2%.
Satellite operations were nominal during the quarter. No satellites were launched in the quarter, however preparations are well advanced for the launch of the NSS-12 satellite, slated for launch on 29 October. NSS-12 will deliver a mix of DTH, VSAT and telecom applications to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Central Asia and Australia.
In Europe, SES ASTRA signed an agreement with ProSiebenSat.1 to launch three HD TV channels on ASTRA’s new HD+ platform, for the German market. The transmissions will start early 2010, and complement the HD transmissions of RTL and VOX which are scheduled to start in November 2009.
Canal Digitaal further expanded its offering for the Dutch market with the launch of new HD channels broadcast from SES ASTRA’s increasingly popular DTH orbital position at 23.5 degrees East. This expansion is facilitated by the availability of the inexpensive “duo LNB”, part of the consumer reception equipment, which enables the reception of transmissions from two adjacent orbital positions and thus an enhanced channel line-up.
The Polish public television broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) has launched a free-to-air platform on ASTRA and has extended its satellite capacity contracts for the use of two transponders at ASTRA’s main orbital position 19.2 degrees East.
ASTRA2Connect continued to develop its market penetration, with new agreements signed for pan-European broadband via satellite, for Poland, and for the European maritime market. An agreement was signed with Euroskypark, which will commercialise the service for energy, transport and security data management applications. SES sees the market for such services continuing to develop, and will continue to commercialise the service via its available satellite capacity. The ASTRA2Connect service now supports over 50,000 subscribers across Europe.
ASTRA2Connect expanded its satellite-based broadband service to Africa through an agreement with Intersat Africa, a leading provider of satellite-based internet services on the continent. The service, which will start in January 2010, will be offered to households, small and medium enterprises as well as schools across East and Central Africa, using capacity on the NSS-12 satellite.
At the new orbital position of 31.5 degrees East, German IP services provider InSat contracted one transponder for backbone services for the Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Caucasus regions. The capacity contracted at 31.5 degrees East now totals five transponders, including the four transponders contracted by SatGate.
SES WORLD SKIES
In September, SES introduced SES WORLD SKIES. WORLD SKIES has an expanding fleet of 24 satellites within the 40-satellite SES fleet, six additional spacecraft slated for launch over the next two years, 350 employees and more than 550 full-time customers worldwide. This new unit combines the strong reputation for excellence and North American presence of AMERICOM with the agility and global reach of NEW SKIES in a single, unified organisation which complements that of SES ASTRA, with its leadership position in the European markets.
Outside the European markets, SES WORLD SKIES made good progress. A notable development area has been West Africa, where agreements were signed for DTH, telecommunications services and IP backbone applications.
Pathfinder Communications signed a multi-year contract to deliver its Infinity TV package over the ASTRA 2B satellite to homes throughout Nigeria. Pathfinder has secured two Ku-band transponders to deliver its premium DTH line up, offering 45 channels of movies, music, sports, lifestyle, news and children’s programming. SES WORLD SKIES is also providing satellite IP backhaul across teleports in London and Lagos, Nigeria.
Netcom Africa is expanding its delivery of telecom and broadcast television services throughout Nigeria and West Africa. Augmenting its existing capacity in Ku-band, Netcom is meeting rising demand for its broad range of telecom and broadcast television services in Nigeria and the West African region.
Also in Nigeria, Galaxy Backbone signed a multi-year agreement for two transponders for the delivery of a broad range of information and communication technology (ICT) services to rural and remote government offices, schools and hospitals in communities throughout Nigeria.
SES WORLD SKIES also announced a multi-transponder deal with Artel, supporting growing U.S. government demand for end-to-end communications networks throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Artel will use four full Ku-band transponders on the ASTRA 3B satellite, set to launch early next year, to provide the U.S. Government with broadband, IP voice, data and video solutions across a variety of regional operations.
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