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SES: Half Year 2019 Results

 

26 July 2019

SES S.A. announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 with performance in line with SES’ expectations, continued growth in Networks’ revenue and financial outlook unchanged.

Key financial highlights

  • Reported revenue of EUR 961.4 million, (down 5.1% at constant FX(1))
  • Underlying revenue(2) of EUR 950.6 million; down 4.2%(1) (Video: -8.8%(1,2) and Networks +5.0%(1,2))
  • EBITDA of EUR 584.5 million representing a margin of 60.8% (H1 2018: 63.3%); 62.0% excluding restructuring charge
  • Net profit attributable to SES shareholders of EUR 169.2 million
  • Free Cash Flow before financing activities of EUR 379.8 million with investing activities 30.3% lower than H1 2018
  • Financial outlook unchanged

 

 

 

 

Change (%)

EUR million

 

H1 2019

 

H1 2018

 

Reported

 

Constant FX(1)

Average EUR/USD exchange rate

 

1.1326

 

1.2127

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

961.4

 

981.4

 

-2.0%

 

-5.1%

EBITDA

 

584.5

 

621.1

 

-5.9%

 

-8.4%

Operating profit

 

216.2

 

277.7

 

-22.1%

 

-23.2%

Net profit attributable to SES shareholders

 

169.2

 

227.7

 

-25.7%

 

n/a

Basic earnings per A share

 

EUR 0.32

 

EUR 0.45

 

-28.9%

 

n/a

1) Comparative figures are restated at constant FX to neutralise currency variations
2) Excluding periodic and other revenue (disclosed separately) that are not directly related to or would distort the underlying business trends

Steve Collar, President and CEO, commented: “We’ve had a solid first six months with financial results in line with our expectations, with continued revenue growth in Networks, strong control over cost and discretionary spending and important progress towards reshaping SES with the objective of delivering exceptional services and driving customer success.

Our Networks business continued to expand on the back of another strong performance in Mobility and Government while we’ve built further commercial traction that can support our Fixed Data business. Of note in H1, we’ve added again to our market-leading position in cruise – with more ships for Genting and the announcement of premium brand Ritz-Carlton; we’ve secured Teleglobal as an anchor customer for SES-12 in Indonesia; expanded connectivity services in Colombia and Brazil; while also restoring connectivity to citizens in Papua New Guinea following a major earthquake. With encouraging levels of demand across our Networks segments, I’m looking forward to the contribution from the additional O3b satellites, which very recently came into operation, as well as being that much closer to the launch of O3b mPOWER in 2021.

While the market environment in Video remains challenging, we’ve delivered value to customers across our core neighbourhoods and are starting to see benefits of bringing together our infrastructure and MX1 businesses into a single operational unit. In the period, we signed further renewals in our core neighbourhoods; grew our video platforms with new customers in Ethiopia, Brazil and Ivory Coast; expanded our managed services relationship with Discovery in Germany; and MX1’s Sports & Events team were instrumental in bringing the Women’s World Cup and Eurovision Song Contest to viewers across our neighbourhoods.

Looking ahead, our priority for H2 is to deliver on our financial outlook and the revenue expansion implied. We achieved this in H2 2018 and we are on track to do so this year. We’ve now secured 90% of the expected revenue for 2019 and have good visibility of future revenue across Video and Networks.

With respect to C-Band and our ongoing market-based engagement in support of the rapid deployment of 5G services in the U.S., through the C-Band Alliance, we have made further progress this quarter. The CBA has been extremely active with all stakeholders as focus and intensity around the repurposing of spectrum gathers momentum. I believe the record clearly shows that our proposal remains the only one that appropriately balances the support to the 120 million U.S. TV and radio households with the need to quickly, efficiently and safely repurpose mid-band spectrum for 5G. I’m encouraged by the comments of the FCC Chairman who believes that there will be ‘results to show’ in the Fall.”

Key business highlights

  • Group revenue of EUR 961.4 million in H1 2019 was 5.1% lower (year-on-year) at constant FX and included periodic and other revenue of EUR 10.8 million (H1 2018: EUR 20.0 million). Underlying revenue (excluding periodic and other) was 4.2% lower (year-on-year) at constant FX to EUR 950.6 million.
  • Video underlying revenue of EUR 603.8 million in H1 2019 was 8.8% lower (year-on-year) at constant FX due to lower video distribution revenue (-8.7%), including the North American wholesale business, and lower video services (-9.4%) revenue which was mainly due to the non-renewal of low-margin ‘legacy’ services in MX1.
  • Networks’ underlying revenue grew by 5.0% (year-on-year) at constant FX to EUR 346.8 million in H1 2019. This expansion reflected the continued strong growth in the Government (+7.9%) and Mobility (+10.9%) businesses while Fixed Data was lower (-2.2%) than H1 2018.
  • EBITDA of EUR 584.5 million (down 8.4% at constant FX) represented an EBITDA margin of 60.8%, or 62.0% excluding a restructuring charge of EUR 11.4 million associated with the group’s ongoing optimisation initiatives.
  • Net profit attributable to SES shareholders was EUR 169.2 million (H1 2018: EUR 227.7 million) with the year-on-year variance reflecting the combination of lower EBTIDA and higher depreciation and amortisation expenses.
  • Free Cash Flow before financing was EUR 379.8 million, including a 30.3% (year-on-year) reduction in investing activities.
  • Net debt to EBITDA ratio (per the rating agency methodology) was 3.50 times at H1 2019 (H1 2018: 3.53 times) and is expected to be at or below 3.30 times at the end of 2019, in line with SES’ commitment to investment grade status.
  • SES’s fully protected contract backlog at 30 June 2019 was EUR 6.4 billion (gross backlog of EUR 7.1 billion when including backlog subject to contractual break clauses). 90% of the 2019 expected group revenue is now secured comprising over 90% of the Video and over 85% of the Networks expected revenue already contractually committed.
  • The financial outlook, as presented in February 2019, is unchanged with 2019 group revenue of EUR 1,975 - 2,040 million and 2019 group EBITDA of EUR 1,220 - 1,265 million (excluding a restructuring charge of EUR 25 - 30 million expected to be recognised in 2019).
  • Relative to H1 2019, second half revenue is expected to benefit from continued growth in Networks, notably in the Aeronautical, Maritime and Government segments, along with new services coming on-line on SES-12 and the four additional O3b satellites which recently came into operation. Growth in International and MX1 services, notably the Sports & Events business, is expected to contribute to the run rate in Video in the second half.
  • Expected capital expenditure (representing the net cash absorbed by the group’s investing activities excluding acquisitions and financial investments) also remains unchanged for the period 2019 to 2023 with EUR 450 million planned in 2019.

Board Update

Anne-Catherine Ries and Tsega Gebreyes have been appointed Vice-Chairpersons of the Board and Romain Bausch was re-elected as Chairman of the Board. In June 2019, Paul Konsbruck and Marc Serres joined the Board, while Jean-Paul Senninger, Jean-Paul Zens and Conny Kullman retired from the Board for personal reasons. The Board now has 13 members (compared with 15 as at the end of 2018), all of which are non-executive directors.

OPERATIONAL REVIEW

REVENUE BY BUSINESS UNIT

 

 

 

 

Change (%)

EUR million

 

H1 2019

 

H1 2018

 

Reported

 

Constant FX

Video

 

604.6

 

658.5

 

-8.2%

 

-9.9%

- Underlying

 

603.8

 

650.0

 

-7.1%

 

-8.8%

- Periodic

 

0.8

 

8.5

 

n/m

 

n/m

Networks

 

356.2

 

322.2

 

+10.6%

 

+4.4%

- Underlying

 

346.8

 

311.4

 

+11.4%

 

+5.0%

- Periodic

 

9.4

 

10.8

 

n/m

 

n/m

Sub-total

 

960.8

 

980.7

 

-2.0%

 

-5.1%

- Underlying

 

950.6

 

961.4

 

-1.1%

 

-4.2%

- Periodic

 

10.2

 

19.3

 

n/m

 

n/m

Other(1)

 

0.6

 

0.7

 

n/m

 

n/m

Group Total

 

961.4

 

981.4

 

-2.0%

 

-5.1%

“Underlying” revenue represents the core business of capacity sales, as well as associated services and equipment. This revenue may be impacted by changes in launch schedule and satellite health status. “Periodic” revenue separates revenues that are not directly related to or would distort the underlying business trends on a quarterly basis. Periodic revenue includes: the outright sale of transponders or transponder equivalents; accelerated revenue from hosted payloads during the course of construction; termination fees; insurance proceeds; certain interim satellite missions and other such items when material.
1) Other includes revenue not directly applicable to Video or Networks

H1 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 950.6 million was EUR 42.0 million (or -4.2%) lower at constant FX, compared with the prior year. Total group revenue included periodic and other revenue of EUR 10.8 million (H1 2018: EUR 20.0 million).

Q2 2019 reported revenue of EUR 480.8 million (Q2 2018: EUR 503.8 million) included EUR 4.1 million of periodic and other revenue (Q2 2018: EUR 16.9 million). Q2 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 476.7 million was 5.4% lower (at constant FX) than Q2 2018.

Video: 63% of group revenue (H1 2018: 67%)

At 30 June 2019, SES was delivering a total of 8,292 TV channels to viewers around the world. This represented an increase of 4% (year-on-year) where a reduction in North American TV channels was more than compensated by the expansion of new channels in International and Eastern European markets, as well as further High Definition adoption in Western Europe.

Overall, SES is now distributing 2,845 channels in High Definition (up 3% year-on-year) and 43 commercial Ultra High Definition channels (up 13% year-on-year). 68% of total TV channels are now broadcast in MPEG-4, or 71% also including HEVC.

Video underlying revenue of EUR 603.8 million was EUR 58.6 million (or 8.8%) lower at constant FX than the prior year. Total Video revenue included EUR 0.8 million of periodic revenue which was lower than the EUR 8.5 million recognised in H1 2018.

VIDEO REVENUE BY VERTICAL

 

 

 

 

Change (%)

EUR million

 

H1 2019

 

H1 2018

 

Reported

 

Constant FX

Video Distribution

 

454.5

 

495.5

 

-8.3%

 

-10.0%

- Underlying

 

453.7

 

487.0

 

-6.8%

 

-8.7%

- Periodic

 

0.8

 

8.5

 

n/m

 

n/m

Video Services

 

150.1

 

163.0

 

-7.9%

 

-9.4%

- Underlying

 

150.1

 

163.0

 

-7.9%

 

-9.4%

- Periodic

 

--

 

--

 

n/m

 

n/m

Video (total)

 

604.6

 

658.5

 

-8.2%

 

-9.9%

- Underlying

 

603.8

 

650.0

 

-7.1%

 

-8.8%

- Periodic

 

0.8

 

8.5

 

n/m

 

n/m

Video Distribution

H1 2019 underlying revenue was 8.7% lower (constant FX) than the prior year.

As expected, North American revenue decreased, primarily driven by the reduction in wholesale business related to a specific satellite used by a single customer. The ongoing switch-off of Standard Definition TV channels, which had already been replaced with HD TV channels, also contributed to the lower (year-on-year) revenue development in this region.

In Europe, the effect of certain long-term renewals secured in late 2018 and the reversal of some short-term capacity contracts that ended in Q3 2018 led to lower (year-on-year) revenue.

While trading conditions remain challenging, SES is making progress in its International business with new customers signed during 2018, albeit not yet fully offsetting the impact of challenges in specific markets that was experienced in 2018.

Following the outcome of the strategic review, announced in October 2018, the commercial operations of YahLive (a partnership between SES and YahSat in which SES has a 35% participation) will be fully integrated within SES Video from Q3 2019 with the focus to build on the existing commercial pipeline and drive operational efficiencies.

Q2 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 225.3 million was 9.2% lower (at constant FX) than Q2 2018.

Video Services

Underlying revenue was down (-9.4%) in H1 2019 compared with the prior year.

HD+ was stable (year-on-year) and the business secured important wins as Panasonic and Samsung both announced that their new TV sets sold in Germany will include the HD+ software, enabling consumers to access the HD+ platform without requiring a set-top box.

In MX1, the discontinuation of certain low-margin ‘legacy’ services led to lower revenue (year-on-year). This has continued to hold back the contribution from customer adoption of the MX1 360 platform and the Sports & Events business which are gaining traction.

Q2 2019 underlying revenue was EUR 75.2 million. The year-on-year comparison is affected by the additional revenue recognised in Q2 2018 in relation to the adoption of changes in IFRS 15 in the HD+ business. Excluding this impact, Video Service’s revenue development (at constant FX) was comparable to the six months reduction of 9.4%.

Networks: 37% of group revenue (H1 2018: 33%)

Underlying revenue of EUR 346.8 million was EUR 16.5 million (or 5.0%) higher at constant FX, compared with H1 2018, reflecting strong growth in Mobility and Government and robust performance in Fixed Data. There was EUR 9.4 million of periodic revenue in H1 2019 (EUR 10.8 million in H1 2018).

NETWORKS REVENUE BY VERTICAL

 

 

 

 

Change (%)

EUR million

 

H1 2019

 

H1 2018

 

Reported

 

Constant FX

Government

 

141.9

 

131.0

 

+8.4%

 

+3.3%

- Underlying

 

139.9

 

123.2

 

+13.5%

 

+7.9%

- Periodic

 

2.0

 

7.8

 

n/m

 

n/m

Fixed Data

 

116.9

 

114.0

 

+2.7%

 

-3.5%

- Underlying

 

115.3

 

111.0

 

+4.0%

 

-2.2%

- Periodic

 

1.6

 

3.0

 

n/m

 

n/m

Mobility

 

97.4

 

77.2

 

+26.0%

 

+17.8%

- Underlying

 

91.6

 

77.2

 

+18.6%

 

+10.9%

- Periodic

 

5.8

 

--

 

n/m

 

n/m

Networks (total)

 

356.2

 

322.2

 

+10.6%

 

+4.4%

- Underlying

 

346.8

 

311.4

 

+11.4%

 

+5.0%

- Periodic

 

9.4

 

10.8

 

n/m

 

n/m

Government

Underlying revenue grew by 7.9% (year-on-year) in H1 2019, reflecting further growth in both the U.S. and Global Government businesses.

Revenue from the U.S. Government continued to grow, supported by GEO-enabled network solutions and new MEO missions, with opportunities in the second half of the year to continue to expand MEO services, enabled by the blanket purchase agreement signed in 2018.

There was strong growth across the Global Government portfolio, driven by the expansion of humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, institutional projects and the full six months’ contribution of GovSat-1 in H1 2019.

Q2 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 71.4 million was 6.3% higher (at constant FX) than Q2 2018.

Fixed Data

H1 2019 underlying revenue was down 2.2% (year-on-year) at constant FX.

Growth was reported in the Americas, and notably Latin America, supported by new and incremental services to Telcos and Mobile Networks Operators to deploy their mobile and enterprise networks and in the Energy segment especially due to new MEO services provided to leading service providers in the industry.

Lower revenue from wholesale capacity in EMEA and Asia-Pacific led to overall Fixed Data revenue being slightly lower than H1 2018 as this is yet to be offset by customer upgrades and new business that is expected to drive future growth.

Q2 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 56.6 million was 3.2% lower (at constant FX) than Q2 2018.

Mobility

Underlying revenue grew by 10.9% (year-on-year) at constant FX.

Aeronautical once again delivered strong growth driven by the steady increase in the fill rate of SES-15 and SES-14, meeting the strong demand for bandwidth and services from Aero Service Providers supporting North and Latin American airlines. This growth was furthered by the expansion of SES’ Ka-based aero network and the restoration of services on behalf of Intelsat as part of the restoration agreement between the two companies that was activated during Q2 2019.

In Maritime, the cruise segment continued to lead growth with the expansion of agreements with existing cruise customers and contributions from new cruise operators signed. As a result, SES is now supporting four of the top five global cruise operators, representing significant vessel expansion potential.

Q2 2019 underlying revenue of EUR 48.2 million was 12.9% higher (at constant FX) than Q2 2018.

Future satellite capacity and fleet update

At the end of February 2019, SES-12 started to operate at 95° East, co-located with SES-8, and is relying on its combination of wide-beam and HTS capacities to deliver new services over the Asia-Pacific region.

COMMITTED LAUNCH SCHEDULE

Satellite

 

Region

 

Application

 

Launch Date

O3b (satellites 17-20)

 

Global

 

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

 

Launched (4 April 2019)

SES-17

 

Americas

 

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

 

H1 2021

O3b mPOWER (satellites 1-7)

 

Global

 

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

 

H1 2021

In April 2019 the final four O3b satellites (satellites 17-20) were launched, completing the first generation of SES’ successful and unique MEO constellation. The four additional satellites entered operation very recently, enhancing coverage across the globe and enabling SES Networks to provide greater service availability and reliability.

Financial Outlook Unchanged

The financial outlook assumes a EUR/USD FX rate of EUR 1 = USD 1.15, nominal launch schedule and satellite health status.

 

 

FY 2019

 

FY 2020

Video revenue

 

EUR 1,225 - 1,255 million

 

EUR 1,200 - 1,250 million

Networks revenue

 

EUR 740 - 775 million

 

EUR 850 - 900 million

Other revenue

 

Approximately EUR 10 million

 

Approximately EUR 10 million

Group revenue

 

EUR 1,975 - 2,040 million

 

EUR 2,060 - 2,160 million

EBITDA

 

EUR 1,220 - 1,265 million(1)

 

EUR 1,260 - 1,340 million

1) Excluding a restructuring charge of EUR 25-30 million expected to be recognised in 2019

This financial outlook, as presented in February 2019, is unchanged. At 30 June 2019, 90% of the 2019 expected group revenue is now secured. Relative to H1 2019, second half revenue is expected to benefit from continued growth in Networks, notably in the Aeronautical, Maritime and Government segments, along with new services coming on-line on SES-12 and the four additional O3b satellites which recently came into operation. Growth in International and MX1 services, notably the Sports & Events business, is expected to contribute to the run rate in Video in the second half.

Expected capital expenditure (representing the net cash absorbed by the group’s investing activities excluding acquisitions and financial investments) for the period of 2019-2023 is consistent with SES’ previous expectations and comprises EUR 450 million in 2019, EUR 390 million in 2020, EUR 1,200 million in 2021 (principally relating to the investment in O3b mPOWER), EUR 450 million in 2022 and EUR 450 million in 2023.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

Income Statement

REVENUE, OPERATING EXPENSES AND EBITDA

EUR million

 

H1 2019

 

H1 2018

 

Change

 

Change (%)

Revenue

 

961.4

 

981.4

 

-20.0

 

-2.0%

Revenue (constant FX)

 

961.4

 

1,012.9

 

-51.5

 

-5.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses

 

(376.9)

 

(360.3)

 

-16.6

 

-4.6%

Operating expenses (constant FX)

 

(376.9)

 

(374.6)

 

-2.3

 

-0.6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBITDA

 

584.5

 

621.1

 

-36.6

 

-5.9%

EBITDA (constant FX)

 

584.5

 

638.3

 

-53.8

 

-8.4%

Reported revenue was EUR 20.0 million below the prior period and included the benefit of the stronger U.S. Dollar in H1 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. At constant FX, revenue decreased by EUR 51.5 million (or 5.1%) with lower Video revenue partially offset by strong growth in Networks.

Operating expenses were EUR 16.6 million higher as reported (or EUR 2.3 million higher at constant FX) and included a restructuring charge of EUR 11.4 million as part of the company’s ongoing optimisation initiatives (H1 2018: EUR 8.4 million). Excluding the restructuring charge, operating expenses were slightly favourable year on year (decrease of EUR 0.7 million).

Group EBITDA of EUR 584.5 million represented an EBITDA margin of 60.8% (H1 2018: 63.3%), or 62.0% excluding the restructuring charge noted above.