SES Weathers Pandemic To Produce Solid Quarter


By Jonathan Easton

Satellite operator SES has announced solid performance for the year to date and is on course to meet its targets for 2020 in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The operator has seen networks revenue increase by 7.5 per cent year-over-year, with video revenue stable for the quarter. The company’s EBITDA was at €883 million(US$1.048million), which represents a 62.6 per cent margin with recurring operating expenses reduced by 3.7 per cent.

Overall, SES said that it is on track to deliver its financial outlook with over 97 per cent of its revenue outlook already contracted – between €1.86-1.9 billion. The company also noted ‘exceptional’ COVID-19 cost mitigations of around €50 million.

Looking forward, the company said that it is on track to clear US C-band by its deadlines and realise the full US$4 billion of accelerated relocation payments. Its Simplify & Amplify initiatives alre also set to generate €40-50 million of annual EBITDA optimisation from 2021 onwards, but SES said that it will not pursue a separation of its networks following an internal investigation.

SES CEO Steve Collar said: “Our solid performance continued into the third quarter, despite ongoing Covid-19 headwinds, with sustained growth across Networks and stable revenue quarter-on-quarter in our Video business. We were delighted to announce a substantial extension of our relationship with Canal+ across three orbital locations and valued at over EUR 230 million, as well as a meaningful extension of our strategic partnership with Microsoft as an Azure Orbital connectivity partner and satellite partner for Azure Modular Data Centres.

“We took measures early in the development of the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the bottom line and the benefits of these cost-saving measures are reflected in our resilient Adjusted EBITDA performance. Execution remains the priority with the business well placed to deliver on our full year outlook.”

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