SES profits from Brazil, German broadcast demand

BRUSSELS Fri May 9, 2014 2:00am EDT

BRUSSELS May 9 (Reuters) - SES , one of the world's largest commercial satellite operators, retained its forecast for accelerating sales and profit growth in 2014 with strong demand for German and Brazilian broadcasts providing a solid start to the year.

The company, which broadcasts over 6,200 television channels from 56 satellites, said on Friday it expected both revenue and core profit (EBITDA) to rise by between 6 and 7 percent this year at constant foreign exchange rates and same scope.

Last year those figures rose by 3.4 and 2.8 percent respectively.

SES, which sells transmission capacity to the likes of BSkyB , Echostar and India's Dish TV, launched three new satellites last year, although two of them were delayed.

It launched a further satellite in March and plans another in the third quarter of this year.

The company reported first-quarter revenues of 465.6 million euros ($645.5 million) and core profit of 345.0 million euros, broadly in line with the corresponding average forecasts in a Reuters poll of 464 million euros and 344 million euros.

Earnings last year were capped by the ending in April of analogue broadcasts to Germany. Broadcasters were already paying for digital transmissions.

However, it did gain from selling capacity to rival Eutelsat after the two settled a dispute in January.

O3b Networks, in which SES has a 47 percent interest, also launched its first four satellites for broadband Internet services last year. Two further batches of four are due for launch in 2014.

After the replacement of certain satellites, SES sees capital expenditure falling from 835 million euros in 2011 through 419 million euros last year to an annual average of 450 million in 2015-2018. ($1 = 0.7214 Euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)

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