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Satellite group SES third-quarter earnings beat forecasts

Satellite company SES on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter core earnings despite pressure on revenues.

Satellite players such as SES and rival Eutelsat are facing challenges as traditional video revenues decline and data becomes the dominant source of satellite industry revenues.

Its core video business, which distributes TV channels such as Sky, Canal+, ARD, and BBC to households and represents about 60% of revenues, had a 4.6% revenue drop in the third quarter due to lower revenues from mature markets in Western Europe and the Unites States.

The group’s networks business, which provides governments, telecom firms and cruise lines with satellite connectivity, saw revenues fall 1.3%, as commercial shipping revenues offset the drop in demand for commercial aviation and cruise lines due to the pandemic.

The Luxembourg-based group reported third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 279 million euros ($323.19 million) on revenues of 444 million euros.

Analysts polled by the company on average had predicted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of 271.1 million euros on revenues of 443 million euros.

CEO Steve Collar said in a statement that the company remains fully on track to deliver on its full-year revenue and EBITDA outlook.

SES also said it had completed the first phase of C-band clearing in the United States and expects to receive $1 billion by the first quarter next year.

The C-Band, a block of spectrum used to deliver video and radio programming to 120 million U.S. households, is currently being repurposed for next-generation 5G services.

The satellite company said it was on track to complete the second phase by December 2023, which would bring an additional $3 billion of C-band proceeds. Reuters

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