SES has recorded a strong first half with the satellite operator reporting a revenue increase of 11% at €789.1 million. Net profit was down from €215.6m in 2006 to €207.8m, though net income in 2007 was impacted by €11.6m, following the launch failure of the NSS-8 satellite.
The group satellite utilisation rate at June 30, 2007 was 75%, but the rates vary sharply between the three satellite divisions, Astra, Americom and New Skies. Astra’s utilisation rate of 87% is a double bonus, given the higher fees payable for transponders in Europe, Americom’s segment is 74% and New Skies 64%.
Over the past six months, Astra has reconfirmed its position in the French market, following the decision by Canal+ to use the 19.2 degrees East position in favour of Eutelsat’s Hotbird previously favoured by merger partner TPS. The use of additional transponders by Canal is planned.
SES Sirius at 5 degrees East has grown its business, including a previously unreported capacity deal with Arqiva on behalf of Sparrowhawk Media, which is launching a number of new services in the Baltic countries.
APS (Astra Platform Services) launched 12 new digital TV channels including My Estate TV, StarSat, Tier TV and Spirit-on-TV. Contract renewals were made with another 13 clients. The Blucom interactive TV service is now in use by 12 German TV and radio channels.