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SES: Q1 2021 Results

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SES S.A. announces financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2021.

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SES Q1 2021 Results (Photo: Business Wire)

Strong execution delivering revenue of €436 million and Adjusted EBITDA(1) of €268 million

  • Improving trajectory in Video from -8.0% YOY(2,3) in FY 2020 to -4.6% YOY(2,3) in Q1 2021
  • Solid Networks performance (flat YOY(2,3)) in the COVID environment with strong prospects for future growth
  • 7% YOY(3) reduction in recurring Operating Expenses, reflecting S&A(4) gains, supporting higher YOY Adjusted EBITDA margin (61%)
  • Solid cash flow generation and financial discipline supporting lower YOY leverage ratio(5) of 3.1 times at 31 March 2021
  • Adjusted Net Profit up 42% YOY to €75 million

On track to deliver 2021 outlook. Growth investments and C-band proceeds supporting future growth and value creation

  • Over 85% of 2021 revenue outlook (€1,760-1,820 million(6)) already under contract
  • $180 million of backlog signed in 2021 for SES-17 and O3b mPOWER with gross backlog at $740 million(7); timed to come to market as the world emerges from the COVID environment with highly differentiated products and solutions to capture substantial connectivity growth opportunity
  • US C-band clearing on track to meet end-2021 milestone (triggering $1 billion payment) and end-2023 milestone (triggering a further $3 billion payment)

Delivering returns to shareholders

  • 2020 dividend of €0.40 per A-share paid in April 2021, consistent with commitment to minimum base dividend of €0.40 going forward
  • Launching €100 million share buyback programme reflecting confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the business

Steve Collar, CEO of SES, commented: “We have made a strong start to 2021 with the resilience of our Video business to the fore on the back of a number of important renewals and extensions secured at our core European neighbourhoods. Networks business performance was also solid in Q1, notwithstanding the near-term COVID environment, with new deal flow beginning to pick up. We continue our laser focus on removing cost from the business and minimising discretionary spend with a 7% year-on-year reduction in operating expenses, leading to improving EBITDA margin. In summary, our start to the year puts us firmly on track to deliver on our 2021 financial outlook which remains unchanged.

I am excited by the progress that we are making in securing customer commitments for SES-17 and O3b mPOWER ahead of launch in the second half of 2021, and the level of market interest that we are seeing across all Networks verticals. These important growth investments allow us to offer a significantly expanded set of low latency products and solutions to the market as the world emerges from the COVID environment and demand for connectivity increases exponentially. We are also on course with the clearing of C-band in the US and are continuing to pursue opportunities to create additional shareholder value from further monetisation initiatives.

The share buyback programme that we are announcing today reflects our confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the business. The current share price does not reflect the underlying value of SES and this programme represents an attractive opportunity to deploy capital for the optimal benefit of our shareholders. SES is uniquely positioned with targeted and differentiated growth investments fuelling future top line and EBITDA growth with strong cash flow enhanced by meaningfully lower capital expenditure, as well as the proceeds from our C-band initiative.”

_______________________
1 Excluding restructuring charge and operating expenses recognised in relation to US C-band repurposing (disclosed separately)
2 Underlying revenue, excluding periodic and other revenue (disclosed separately) that are not directly related to or otherwise distort the underlying business trends
3 At constant FX which refers to comparative figures restated at the current period FX to neutralise currency variations
4 Simplify & Amplify
5 Ratio of Adjusted Net Debt (which includes 50% of hybrid bonds as debt, per the rating agency methodology) to Adjusted EBITDA
6 Financial outlook assumes a €/$ FX rate of €1 = $1.20, nominal satellite health and launch schedule
7 Gross backlog $740 million (fully protected: $605 million)

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.

€million

Q1 2021

Q1 2020

∆ as Reported

∆ at constant FX

Average €/$ FX rate

1.22

1.11

Revenue

436

479

-8.9%

-4.3%

Adjusted EBITDA

268

288

-6.9%

-2.6%

Adjusted Net Profit

75

53

+41.5%

n/a

Adjusted Net Debt / Adjusted EBITDA

3.08 times

3.28 times

-0.20 times

n/a

  • Underlying revenue (excluding periodic and other) declined by 2.8% year-on-year (at constant FX) to €436 million.
  • Video underlying revenue of €263 million represents a reduction of 4.6% year-on-year (at constant FX), compared with -8.0% year-on-year in FY 2020, where lower revenue from mature markets was partially offset by higher revenues generated across International markets and growth in the number of paying consumers subscribing to HD+ in Germany.
  • Networks underlying revenue of €173 million was flat compared with Q1 2020 (+0.1% at constant FX) with strong ongoing growth in Government (+8.5%) offsetting COVID-related impacts on Mobility (-9.1%), while Fixed Data (-1.0%) was in line with the prior period.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of €268 million represented a higher Adjusted EBITDA margin of 61.4% (Q1 2020: 60.1%) and benefitted from a 6.9% year-on-year reduction (at constant FX) in operating expenses.
  • Adjusted EBITDA excludes restructuring expenses of €1 million (Q1 2020: €3 million) and €7 million (Q1 2020: nil) of operating expenses associated with the accelerated repurposing of US C-band spectrum, net of €27 million repurposing income (Q1 2020: nil).
  • Adjusted Net Profit (see page 5) improved year-on-year by 41.5% to €75 million as the lower revenue was more than offset by the combination of lower recurring operating expenses, lower depreciation and amortisation expenses, and lower net interest expense. Adjusted Net Profit also included a net foreign exchange gain of €9 million (Q1 2020: loss of €5 million).
  • At 31 March 2021, Adjusted Net Debt (including 50% of the €1.3 billion hybrid bonds as debt, per the rating agency methodology) of €3,486 million was €534 million (or 13.3%) lower than Q1 2020 and represented an Adjusted Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 3.08 times (31 March 2020: 3.28 times).
  • Fully protected contract backlog at 31 March 2021 was €5.5 billion (gross backlog of €6.1 billion when including backlog subject to contractual break clauses).
  • Following the Annual General Meeting on 1 April 2021, where all resolutions were approved, a dividend of €0.40 per A-share and €0.16 per B-share was paid to shareholders on 22 April 2021, consistent with the prior year and the Board’s commitment to maintain a base dividend of €0.40 per A-share and €0.16 per B-share.
  • SES has, today, announced a share buyback programme of up to €100 million to be executed by 31 December 2021 under the authorisation given by the Annual General Meeting of shareholders held on 1 April 2021. SES will purchase up to 12 million A-shares and up to 6 million B-shares in equal proportion to maintain 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.
  • The FY 2021 financial outlook (assuming a €/$ FX rate of €1 = $1.20, nominal satellite health and launch schedule) is unchanged with group revenue expected to be between €1,760-1,820 million (including €1,000-1,030 million for Video and €750-780 million for Networks) and Adjusted EBITDA (excluding restructuring and US C-band expenses) between €1,060-1,100 million.
  • Capital expenditure (representing net cash absorbed by investing activities excluding acquisitions, financial investments, and US C-band repurposing) is also unchanged and expected to be €660 million in 2021 and €880 million in 2022 reflecting the growth investment in SES-17 and O3b mPOWER. Thereafter, capital expenditure is expected to reduce significantly to €220 million in 2023, €570 million in 2024, and €340 million in 2025, representing an average annual capital expenditure of €375 million (2023-2025).
  • In April 2021, SES joined the United Nations Global Compact, underscoring the Group’s commitment to operating in the most sustainable and responsible way across the business through a purpose-led Environmental, Social, and Governance programme.

Operational performance and commentary

REVENUE BY BUSINESS UNIT

Revenue (€ million) as reported

Change (YOY) at constant FX

Q1 2021

Q1 2020

Average €/$ FX rate

1.22

1.11

Video (total)

263

282

-4.6%

- Video underlying

263

282

-4.6%

Government (underlying)

71

70

+8.5%

Fixed Data (underlying)

55

61

-1.0%

Mobility (underlying)

47

58

-9.1%

Periodic

-

8

n/m

Networks (total)

173

197

-3.8%

- Networks underlying

173

189

+0.1%

Sub-total

436

479

-4.3%

- Underlying

436

471

-2.8%

- Periodic

-

8

n/m

Other revenue

-

-

n/m

Group Total

436

479

-4.3%

“At constant FX” refers to comparative figures restated at the current period FX to neutralise currency variations. “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 construction; termination fees; insurance proceeds; certain interim satellite missions and other such items when material. “Other” includes revenue not directly applicable to Video or Networks

Video: 60% of group revenue

At 31 March 2021, SES carried a total of 8,430 TV channels to 361 million TV homes around the world. This includes 3,098 channels in High Definition and Ultra High Definition which has grown by 4% compared with Q1 2020. 69% of total TV channels are broadcast in MPEG-4 with an additional 4% in HEVC.

The impact from customers ‘right-sizing’ volumes in mature markets (Western Europe and the US), lower US wholesale revenue, and the decision to reduce exposure to low margin services activities led to an overall year-on-year revenue reduction, albeit at a much slower pace of decline as compared with the trend throughout 2020.

International market revenue was higher year-on-year, while continued growth in the number of paying subscribers led to year-on-year growth in HD+ where the combination of an increase in the cost to renew a 12-month subscription from March 2021 and introduction of new Internet Protocol-based solutions into the market are expected to support the future development of the business.

Networks: 40% of group revenue

Government
Strong contribution from new MEO- and GEO-enabled network solutions for the US Government led to overall strong year-on-year growth in revenue compared with Q1 2020 with additional new business wins secured at the end of the quarter expected to contribute to future revenue development. This was complemented by slightly higher year-on-year revenue in Global Government.

Fixed Data
Underlying revenue was consistent with the prior period as lower year-on-year revenue in the Pacific region was balanced with growth in new revenue from tier one mobile network operators in Latin America and additional revenue ramp up in the global cloud segment.

Mobility
The effects of the COVID pandemic on customers in the commercial aviation and cruise segments resulted in lower revenue compared with Q1 2020 which had yet to see an impact from the pandemic at that point in time. This was partly offset by a positive year-on-year performance in commercial shipping revenues.

While the vast majority of commercial contracts across the entire SES business, including in Mobility, are fixed, it is expected that the impact of lower revenue as a result of the COVID environment continues to present a short-term headwind to the development of Mobility revenue, however the long-term growth fundamentals remain in place to drive the pace of new business as demand recovers.

Future satellite launches

Satellite

Region

Application

Launch Date

SES-17

Americas

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

Q4 2021(1)

O3b mPOWER (satellites 1-3)

Global

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

Q4 2021(1)

O3b mPOWER (satellites 4-6)

Global

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

Q1 2022

O3b mPOWER (satellites 7-9)

Global

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

H2 2022

SES-18 & SES-19

North America

Video (US C-band accelerated clearing)

H2 2022

SES-20 & SES-21

North America

Video (US C-band accelerated clearing)

H2 2022

O3b mPOWER (satellites 10-11)

Global

Fixed Data, Mobility, Government

H2 2024

1) From Q3 2021, however the change is not expected to result in a significant change in operational service date (OSD)

CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT

Three months ended 31 March

€ million

Q1 2021

Q1 2020

Average €/$ FX rate

1.22

1.11

Revenue

436

479

US C-band repurposing income

27

--

Operating expenses

(203)

(194)

EBITDA

260

285

Depreciation expense

(140)

(159)

Amortisation expense

(19)

(22)

Operating profit

101

104

Net financing costs

(26)

(46)

Profit before tax

75

58

Income tax expense

(8)

(10)

Non-controlling interests

2

3

Net profit attributable to owners of the parent

69

51

Basic and diluted earnings per share (in €) (1)

Class A shares

0.13

0.09

Class B shares

0.05

0.03

1) Earnings per share is calculated as profit attributable to owners of the parent divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year, as adjusted to reflect the economic rights of each class of share. For the purposes of the EPS calculation only, the net profit for the year attributable to ordinary shareholders has been adjusted to include the assumed coupon, net of tax, on the perpetual bonds. Fully diluted earnings per share are not significantly different from basic earnings per share

€ million

Q1 2021

Q1 2020

Adjusted EBITDA

268

288

US C-band repurposing income

27

--

US C-band operating expenses

(34)

--

Restructuring expenses

(1)

(3)

EBITDA

260

285

€ million

Q1 2021

Q1 2020

Adjusted Net Profit

75

53

US C-band repurposing income

27

--

US C-band operating expenses

(34)

--

Restructuring expenses

(1)

(3)

Tax on material exceptional items

2

1

Net profit/(loss) attributable to owners of the parent

69

51

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

QUARTERLY INCOME STATEMENT (AS REPORTED)

€ million

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

Q3 2020

Q4 2020

Q1 2021

Average €/$ FX rate

1.11

1.10

1.17

1.18

1.22

Revenue

479

469

462

466

436

US C-band repurposing income

--

--

--

10

27

Operating expenses

(194)

(207)

(175)

(231)

(203)

EBITDA

285

262

287

245

260

Depreciation expense

(158)

(161)

(153)

(153)

(140)

Amortisation expense

(23)

(21)

(21)

(30)

(19)

Impairment expense

-

-

-

(277)

-

Operating profit/(loss)

104

80

113

(215)

101

Net financing costs

(46)

(45)

(44)

(49)

(26)

Profit/(loss) before tax

58

35

69

(264)

75

Income tax benefit/(expense)

(9)

(1)

(4)

21

(8)

Non-controlling interests

2

2

2

3

2

Net Profit/(Loss)

51

36

67

(240)

69

Earnings/(loss) per share (in €)(1)

Class A shares

0.09

0.05

0.12

(0.56)

0.13

Class B shares

0.03

0.02

0.05

(0.22)

0.05

Adjusted EBITDA

288

294

301

269

268

Adjusted EBITDA margin

60%

63%

65%

58%

61%

US C-band repurposing income

--

--

--

10

27

US C-band operating expenses

--

(14)

(7)

(22)

(34)

Restructuring expenses

(3)

(18)

(7)

(12)

(1)

EBITDA

285

262

287

245

260

1) Earnings per share is calculated as profit attributable to owners of the parent divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year, as adjusted to reflect the economic rights of each class of share. For the purposes of the EPS calculation only, the net profit for the year attributable to ordinary shareholders has been adjusted to include the coupon, net of tax, on the perpetual bonds. Fully diluted earnings per share are not significantly different from basic earnings per share.

QUARTERLY OPERATING PROFIT (AT CONSTANT €/$ FX RATE OF €1:$1.20)

€ million

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

Q3 2020

Q4 2020

Q1 2021

Average €/$ FX rate

1.20

1.20

1.20

1.20

1.20

Revenue

459

449

456

463

440

US C-band repurposing income

-

-

-

10

28

Operating expenses

(184)

(194)

(172)

(230)

(206)

EBITDA

275

255

284

243

262

Depreciation expense

(150)

(152)

(150)

(148)

(142)

Amortisation expense

(22)

(21)

(21)

(28)

(19)

Impairment expense

-

-

-

(277)

-

Operating profit/(loss)

103

82

113

(210)

101

Adjusted EBITDA

278

285

297

267

270

US C-band repurposing income

-

-

-

10

28

US C-band operating expenses

-

(12)

(7)

(22)

(35)

Restructuring expenses

(3)

(18)

(6)

(12)

(1)

EBITDA

275

255

284

243

262

ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE MEASURES

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. These measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies and are not measurements under IFRS or any other body of generally accepted accounting principles, and thus should not be considered substitutes for the information contained in the Group’s financial statements.

Alternative Performance Measure

Definition

Reported EBITDA and EBITDA margin

EBITDA is profit for the period before depreciation, amortisation, net financing cost and income tax. EBITDA margin is EBITDA divided by revenue.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin

EBITDA adjusted to exclude material exceptional items. In 2020 and 2021, the primary exceptional items are restructuring charges and the net impact of the repurposing of US C-band spectrum. Adjusted EBITDA margin is Adjusted EBITDA divided by revenue.

Adjusted Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA, represents the ratio of Net Debt plus 50% of the group’s hybrid bonds (per the rating agency methodology) divided by the last 12 months’ (rolling) Adjusted EBITDA.

Adjusted Net Profit

Net profit attributable to owners of the parent adjusted to exclude material exceptional items. In 2020 and 2021, the primary exceptional items are restructuring charges, the net impact of the repurposing of US C-band spectrum, and the net impact of impairment expenses.

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Presentation of Results:

A presentation of the results for investors and analysts will be hosted at 9.30 CEST on 6 May 2021 and will be broadcast via webcast and conference call. The details for the conference call and webcast are as follows:

U.K. (Standard International Access):

+44 (0) 33 0551 0200

France: 

+33 (0) 1 7037 7166

Germany:

+49 (0) 30 3001 90612

U.S.A.: 

+1 212 999 6659

Confirmation code:

SES

Webcast registration:

https://channel.royalcast.com/landingpage/ses/20210506_1/

The presentation is available for download from https://www.ses.com/investors/financial-results and a replay will be available shortly after the conclusion of the presentation.

About SES

SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially proven, low latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 361 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at: www.ses.com.

Disclaimer

This presentation does not, in any jurisdiction, including without limitation in the U.S., constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, any offer for sale of, or solicitation of any offer to buy, or any investment advice in connection with, any securities of SES, nor should it or any part of it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever.​

No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made by SES, its directors, officers or advisors, or any other person, as to the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the information or opinions contained in this presentation, and any reliance you place on them will be at your sole risk. Without prejudice to the foregoing, none of SES, or its directors, officers or advisors accept any liability whatsoever for any loss however arising, directly or indirectly, from use of this presentation or its contents or otherwise arising in connection therewith.​

This presentation includes “forward-looking statements”. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this presentation, including without limitation those regarding SES’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to SES products and services), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of SES to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding SES and its subsidiaries and affiliates, present and future business strategies, and the environment in which SES will operate in the future, and such assumptions may or may not prove to be correct. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this presentation. Forward-looking statements contained in this presentation regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will occur or continue in the future. SES, and its directors, officers and advisors do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

To view this piece of content from cts.businesswire.com, please give your consent at the top of this page.

Contact information

Richard Whiteing
Investor Relations
+352 710 725 261
richard.whiteing@ses.com

Suzanne Ong
External Communications
+352 710 725 500
suzanne.ong@ses.com

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Luxembourg’s high performance computer MeluXina was officially launched on June 7 putting the country on the global map of computer super powers. MeluXina is capable of executing more than 10 Petaflops, the equivalent of 10 million billion calculations per second, which will rank it among the world’s top 50 supercomputers. The petascale computer is powered by green energy and is part-funded under the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210611005115/en/ Minister of State Xavier Bettel; His Royal Highness Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg; Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot; EuroHPC Joint Undertaking Executive Director Anders Jensen (Photo: Business Wire) In a series of 8 high-performance computers in the EU, MeluXina joins Vega, another petascale supercomputer located in Slovenia, as the first EuroHPC machines to go live. Its innovative modular architecture allo

Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics Present New Data in 22 Patients With Greater Than 3 Months Follow-Up Post-Treatment With Investigational CRISPR/Cas9 Gene-Editing Therapy, CTX001™ at European Hematology Association Annual Meeting11.6.2021 09:05:00 CEST | Press release

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq:VRTX) and CRISPR Therapeutics (Nasdaq:CRSP) today announced new data on 22 patients,with follow-up of at least 3 months, and ranging from 4 months to 26 months, treated with the investigational CRISPR/Cas9-based gene-editing therapy, CTX001, that show a consistent and sustained response to treatment. CTX001 is being investigated in two ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trials as a potential one-time therapy for patients suffering from transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT) and severe sickle cell disease (SCD). In total, more than 40 patients have been dosed across both studies to date. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210611005069/en/ All 15 patients with TDT, including six who have the beta zero/beta zero or other severe genotypes, were transfusion-free at last follow-up, and all seven patients with severe SCD were free of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) from CTX001 infu