SES: Third Quarter Delivers Strong Recurring Revenue And EBITDA Growth

Monday, October 29th, 2007
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“¢ Recurring revenue of EUR 405 m was up 9.9% on the prior year period

  • Reported revenue was EUR 406.9 m (Q3 2006: EUR 481.8 m)
  • The prior year period included one-time items totalling EUR 83 m (as reported)

“¢ Recurring EBITDA of EUR 290 m was 17.1% ahead of the prior year period

  • Reported EBITDA was EUR 283.2 m (Q3 2006: EUR 323.9 m)
  • The prior year period included one-time items totaling EUR 59 m (as reported)

“¢ Operating profit was EUR 175.9 m (Q3 2006: EUR 199.6 m)
“¢ Net profit was EUR 138.8 m (Q3 2006: EUR 132.0 m)
“¢ 12 month weighted EPS 0.92 (2006 reported EPS EUR 0.82), favourably impacted by the ongoing share buyback programme

Betzdorf, Luxembourg — SES, the pre-eminent satellite operator worldwide (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges: SESG), reports on financial performance for the three months ended 30 September 2007.


The recently launched ASTRA 1L replacement satellite was brought into service at the prime European DTH orbital position of 19.2 degrees East on 11 July. Consequently, the ASTRA 2C satellite, which had been located at 19.2 degrees East, has been moved to 28.2 degrees East to provide additional capacity for the UK and Irish DTH markets.

In Germany, national public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, as well as Tele5, signed new contracts for additional transponder capacity for digital services. The additional capacity is to be used to enhance the quality of standard definition digital broadcasts by increasing the channel data rates, as well as to support the further development of digital offers.

In France, as part of the CANAL+ framework contract signed earlier in the year, CANAL+ contracted two further transponders for the transmission of the regional programmes of France3 within the CANALSAT and the TNTSAT bouquets.

Dutch satellite TV provider Canal Digitaal signed up two transponders at the third European prime orbital position for DTH services, 23.5 degrees East, for the launch of new digital thematic services this autumn as well as for the launch of an HDTV bouquet early 2008.

SES ASTRA signed an agreement for an additional transponder with the Spanish broadcaster Sogecable, bringing the number of ASTRA transponders used by Sogecable to eleven.

SES ASTRA also signed an agreement with the international content management and delivery enterprise GlobeCast for one additional transponder at 28.2/ 28.5 degrees East.

The satellite broadband service ASTRA2Connect signed new contracts with STARDSL in Germany, Sosat in Austria and with the Irish provider National Broadband Services, providing satellite based internet connectivity in Ireland. These services are delivered via 23.5 degrees East.

The digital satellite platform entavio was officially launched for the German market on 1st September at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin. Its anchor customer, Pay TV operator Premiere, was joined on the platform by, a German sports channel which has announced that it will be offering its services via entavio.

SES ASTRA’s utilisation rate at the period end was 85%, or 240 of 282 commercially available transponders with 16 transponders added to the commercially available capacity as a result of the Astra 2C move. (As reported at 30 June 2007: 87%, or 233 of 266 commercially available transponders).


The AMC-18 satellite, the fifth satellite in SES AMERICOM’s HD-Prime neighbourhood, continued HDTV channel expansion. The multi-year contract with Comcast Media Center’s HITS Quantum service supports six HDTV channels. This expansion results in a total of two AMC-18 transponders supporting the HITS Quantum service.

AMERICOM Government Services was awarded a five-year contract to build and operate a satellite network in support of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The contract is for a base year plus four one-year options.

IP-PRIME, SES AMERICOM’s IPTV service offering, launched commercial service in June 2007. IP-PRIME has completed roll-out of services for three NRTC-affiliated telco customers. Telco operators have reported strong initial subscriber penetration rates confirming customers’ positive reception of the service. The IP-PRIME programme line-up now includes 28 HDTV channels with significant HDTV programme expansion expected in the coming months.

Argentinian satellite services company AR-SAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales, S.A.), entered into a five-year contract to lease five transponders on the AMC-6 satellite at 72 degrees West. The capacity will provide follow-on capacity and service continuity for customers previously served by the Nahuel-1 satellite from that orbital position.

With the AMC-16 satellite now operating at its permanent location at 85 degrees West, EchoStar will discontinue leasing the AMC-2 satellite in February 2008. AMC-2 has provided service to EchoStar since 2003, well beyond its initial mission of serving as an interim satellite. SES AMERICOM is evaluating new commercial opportunities for AMC-2.

SES AMERICOM’s utilisation rate at the period end was 74%, or 330 of 447 commercially available transponders (As reported at 30 June 2007: 74%, or 332 of 447 commercially available transponders).


In the quarter, ImpSat, a subsidiary of Global Crossing, took capacity totalling 2.5 transponders on the NSS-10 satellite to serve customers in Latin America. The capacity is to serve the growing demand for VSAT IP services and SCPC services in the region.

A two-transponder contract was signed with Papua New Guinea operator PNG Telikom for GSM backhaul services, providing essential connectivity in a region where terrestrial links are limited or non-existent.

AfSat, one of Africa’s largest VSAT companies took capacity on NSS-7 to deliver IP trunking services in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular West Africa and South Africa.

France24, the French digital TV news channel, became available via NSS-7 in French and in English. Broadcasts cover Europe, the Middle East and all of Africa.

SES NEW SKIES’ utilisation rate at the period end was 69%, or 220 of 318 commercially available transponders (As reported at 30 June 2007: 64%, or 205 of 318 commercially available transponders), with utilisation at period end benefiting from capacity ramp-up on previously signed contracts in addition to those new contracts mentioned above.