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  • Satellite Evolution

SES YTD 2021 results: Strong execution underpinning FY 2021 outlook, future growth, and value

SES S.A. has announced financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2021.

Solid performance delivering revenue of €1,319 million and Adjusted EBITDA of €823 million

  • Improving trajectory in Video to -4.1 percent YOY YTD 2021 from -8.0 percent YOY in FY 2020

  • Resilient Networks performance, flat YOY, in a COVID impacted environment with strong prospects for future growth

  • 2 percent YOY reduction in recurring Operating Expenses supporting Adjusted EBITDA margin of 62%

  • Over 95 percent of FY 2021 revenue outlook (€1,760-1,800 million vs. €1,760-1,820 million at H1 2021) already under contract

  • Adjusted EBITDA outlook unchanged for FY 2021 of €1,080-1,100 million (improved from €1,060-1,100 million at H1 2021)

Significant progress in delivery of value creation through growth investments and C-band execution

  • SES-17 successfully launched, with first revenues from H2 2022; and O3b mPOWER on track to begin services by end-2022

  • SES-17 and O3b mPOWER backlog over US$780 million; up $220 million in YTD 2021 with strong customer interest

  • First US C-band clearing milestone completed with US$1 billion of accelerated relocation payments expected by Q1 2022

  • On track to meet second clearing milestone by end-2023, triggering a further US$3 billion in accelerated relocation payments

Steve Collar, CEO of SES, commented: “Our laser focus on execution has delivered another solid quarter and we remain fully on track to deliver on our FY 2021 group revenue and EBITDA outlook. The strength and resilience of our Video business is reflected in the improved FY 2021 outlook on the back of important renewals and new business signed across our core neighbourhoods, and the continued positive momentum of our HD+ platform in Germany.

Our Networks business is continuing to perform well against the backdrop of an extended COVID environment with strong year-on-year growth in Government now complemented by growing quarterly run rate revenue in Fixed Data and Mobility, where we are starting to see a recovery in cruise and new bandwidth demand from our aeronautical customers.


The successful launch of SES-17 only two weeks ago was an important step in realising our vision of a seamless, integrated, and cloud-enabled network of the future. SES-17 will start to generate incremental revenue and EBITDA for SES in the second half of 2022. This will soon be joined in orbit by our second-generation Medium Earth Orbit constellation, O3b mPOWER, with launches starting early next year and the constellation on track for start of service before the end of 2022.


I am delighted to report that we have completed Phase One C-band clearing in the US, comfortably ahead of the December 2021 deadline, and we expect to receive the first US$1 billion of accelerated relocation payments within the coming months. We have started to receive cost reimbursement from the Clearing House and we are on track to complete Phase Two clearing by December 2023, triggering an additional $3 billion of accelerated relocation payments.”


Key business and financial highlights

SES regularly uses Alternative Performance Measures (APM) to present the performance of the Group and believes that these APMs are relevant to enhance understanding of the financial performance and financial position.

  • Underlying revenue (excluding periodic and other) was lower by 2.7 percent year-on-year (at constant FX) at €1,318 million. Periodic and other revenue in YTD 2021 was €1 million (YTD 2020: €9 million).

  • Video underlying revenue of €785 million represents a reduction of 4.1 percent year-on-year (at constant FX), compared with -8.0 percent year-on-year in FY 2020, where lower revenue from mature markets was partially offset by the growth of HD+ in Germany, higher revenues generated across International markets, and a recovery in Sports & Events. Q3 2021 underlying revenue of €259 million was 4.6 percent lower year-on-year (at constant FX) and 1.3 percent lower compared with Q2 2021.

  • Networks underlying revenue of €533 million was flat compared with YTD 2020 (-0.6 percent at constant FX) with strong ongoing growth in Government (+7.7 percent) offsetting short-term COVID-related impacts on Mobility (-8.8%) and near-term declines in Fixed Data (-2.9 percent). Q3 2021 underlying revenue of €184 million (-1.3% YOY at constant FX) was 4.8 percent higher than Q2 2021 reflecting a recovery in Cruise, combined with new revenue from Aeronautical, Cloud, and Energy customers.

  • Adjusted EBITDA of €823 million represented an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 62.4 percent (YTD 2020: 62.6 percent) and benefitted from a 2.1 percent year-on-year reduction (at constant FX) in operating expenses.

  • Adjusted EBITDA excludes restructuring expenses of €7 million (YTD 2020: €28 million) and net operating expenses associated with the accelerated repurposing of US C-band spectrum which totalled €18 million (YTD 2020: €21 million).

  • Adjusted Net Profit improved by 17.2 percent year-on-year to €225 million including the positive combination of the lower recurring operating expenses highlighted above, lower depreciation and amortisation expenses (down 7.3 percent year-on-year), and a 21.0 percent reduction in the net interest expense. Adjusted Net Profit also included a net foreign exchange gain of €24 million (YTD 2020: loss of €19 million).

  • At 30 September 2021, Adjusted Net Debt (including 50 percent of the now €1.175 billion of hybrid bonds as debt, per the rating agency methodology) of €3,703 million was 4.2 percent lower than 30 September 2020 and represented an Adjusted Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 3.4 times (30 September 2020: 3.2 times).

  • Contract backlog at 30 September 2021 was €5.2 billion (€5.8 billion gross backlog including backlog with contractual break clauses).

  • In July 2021, SES completed a share buyback programme totalling €94 million. 12 million A-shares were purchased at a weighted average price of €6.56 and 6 million B-shares at a weighted average price of €2.62, maintaining the ratio of two A-shares to one B-share, as required by the Articles of Association. The shares acquired under the programme are intended to be cancelled, reducing the total number of voting and economic shares.

  • FY 2021 revenue outlook (assuming a €/$ FX rate of €1 = US$1.20, nominal satellite health and launch schedule) is expected to be between €1,760-1,800 million (previously €1,760-1,820 million), including €1,030-1,040 million for Video (which is improved from €1,000-1,030 million) and €720-750 million for Networks (previously €750-780 million).

  • FY 2021 Adjusted EBITDA outlook, excluding restructuring and net US C-band repurposing impact, is unchanged and expected to be between €1,080-1,100 million (assuming a €/$ FX rate of €1 = US$1.20, nominal satellite health and launch schedule), having previously been increased from €1,060-1,100 million.

  • Expected capital expenditure (net cash absorbed by investing activities excluding acquisitions, financial investments, and US C-band repurposing) is €300 million in 2021 and €950 million in 2022 reflecting growth investments in SES-17 and O3b mPOWER. Thereafter, capital expenditure is expected to reduce to €510 million in 2023, €570 million in 2024, and €340 million in 2025.

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