SES' Growth Continues Through 2009Friday, February 12th, 2010
LUXEMBOURG — SES S.A., a leading worldwide satellite operator (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), reports financial results for the twelve months to 31 December 2009.
Solid progress resulted from the commercialisation of new and existing capacity across the group. New capacity was delivered by Ciel-2, which entered service at the end of January 2009. The launch of NSS-9 replacing NSS-5 over the Pacific region, as well as that of NSS-12 in the Indian Ocean Region, have enabled SES to significantly increase the capacity available within SES’ Asian satellite coverage.
SES added to its strategic assets in this fast growing region with our successful bid to acquire the Protostar 2 satellite at auction in December 2009, for USD 185 million. Following receipt of regulatory approval, SES will add a healthy young satellite carrying 22 Ku-band transponders with excellent coverage of key Asian markets to its fleet, enabling the further development of its business in India and other important markets.
New business signed included a significant amount of capacity for video broadcasting customers in emerging markets, building on SES’ strong traditional business of serving video broadcasters. The total proportion of group revenue from this high added value business activity grew to 67% (2008: 65%). A major renewal was agreed with BSkyB in respect of 24 transponders serving its Pay-TV operations in the UK. As a consequence, the contract backlog increased by 15.4% and represents some four times SES’ 2009 revenues.
SES AMERICOM – NEW SKIES was rebranded as SES WORLD SKIES. In the second half of the year, a contract was signed with EADS ASTRIUM for the construction of four satellites (three replacement satellites for the ASTRA 28.2Eorbital position and a new satellite, ASTRA 5B, which will be positioned at 31.5E). These satellites mark the completion of the current phase of replacements for SES ASTRA’s prime orbital positions. The satellites to be positioned at 28.2E will also carry growth capacity, including Ku-band transponders for SES WORLD SKIES targeting the African and Middle East markets, as well as Ka-band transponders for broadband services. These flexible Ka-band payloads allow coverage of some of the largest European markets, offering upside potential which is balanced by limited financial risk. This capacity will further supplement SES’ already successful ASTRA2Connect product which has continued its growth in 2009 and now serves some 60,000 users.
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