SES S.A. is the world's leading provider of satellite and broadcasting services. The company operates in four major business segments: Video and TV distribution; Fixed Data; Mobility; and Government. Of these, video and TV distribution is the biggest, accounting for around 70% of the business.
SES S.A. manages 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 12 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). The company's network covers 99% of the world's population. As of June 2017, SES satellites carried over 7,700 TV channels.
Karim Michel Sabbagh, a Canadian and Lebanese national, served as President and CEO of SES S.A. until April 2018, when he was succeeded by Steve Collar, who was previously CEO of SES Networks. In the same management reshuffle, Andrew Browne replaced Padraig McCarthy as Chief Financial Officer. The other members of the SES Executive Committee remained in place – including Chief Technology Officer Martin Halliwell and Chief Strategy and Development Officer Christophe De Hauwer.
The company has been in existence since 1985, when it was founded as Société Européenne des Satellites (SES). In 2001 it renamed itself SES Global, but five years later the company went back to calling itself just SES. The Luxembourg government, which was instrumental in setting up SES, is still a major shareholder.
SES launched its first satellite, Astra 1A, in 1988. Two years later it was already broadcasting to 14 million TV viewers. In the early 1990s, SES became the world’s biggest satellite platform for TV distribution.
In 1999 the company launched a major global expansion drive beyond its European heartland. It also diversified its services, moving into telecoms solutions for corporate and public sector customers. Acquisitions included Digital Playout Centre GmbH (2005), ND SatCom (2006) and New Skies Satellites (also in 2006).
In June 2017 SES helped launch a project by the Satellite and Terrestrial Network for 5G (SaT5G) consortium for the integration of satellite into future 5G networks. The aim was to improve the efficiency and resilience of 5G services, and to open new markets in media distribution, transport and other areas. SES has also been developing Ultra High Definition TV (UHD)and working on global technical standards for UHD broadcast and reception.
In its full year 2017 results, SES reported revenues of €2.04 billion, down 1.6%. Net profit was €596.1 million, down 38.1%. After this challenging year, the company announced it was cutting its dividend by 40%, in a move to boost the balance sheet.
In March 2018, SES launched a bond offering in which it agreed to sell senior unsecured fixed rate notes due in 2026 for a total of €500 million. The proceeds were used for general corporate purposes, including the refinancing of existing debt.
In recent years SES shares have fallen steadily from a high of €34.70 in April 2015 to just €11.52 towards the end of March 2018. For the latest SES share price, follow Capital.com. Our SESG charttracks the recent ups and downs of the stock.
SES S.A. is based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. The company also has offices in Munich, The Hague, London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm and Moscow among other locations.
The company’s listed security is the Fiduciary Depositary Receipt (FDR), listed on the Luxembourg and Euronext Paris Stock Exchanges. The SES FDR is included in the CAC Next 20 and Euronext 100 market indices. Check out Capital.com for the latest SESG chart. We’ll keep you up to date and in the picture.
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