SES keeps outlook despite satellite launch delay

BRUSSELS, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:00am EDT

BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) - SES , one of the world's largest commercial satellite operators, retained its forecast for accelerated growth in 2014 despite the delayed launch of a satellite after a solid second quarter partly supported by the World Cup.

The company, which broadcasts over 6,200 television channels from 55 satellites, said on Friday it expected revenue and core profit (EBITDA) to rise by between 6 and 7 percent this year at constant foreign exchange rates and same scope.

In 2013, the figures rose 3.4 and 2.8 percent respectively.

SES, which sells transmission capacity to the likes of BSkyB , Echostar and India's Dish TV, said it was retaining its outlook despite a further delay to the launch of its Astra 2G satellite.

Originally planned for the first half, it had already been pushed back to the third quarter and is now seen in the final quarter of this year.

The company reported second-quarter revenues of 473.3 million euros ($637.4 million) and core profit of 348.8 million euros, just below with the corresponding average forecasts in a Reuters poll of 477 million euros and 351 million euros.

The soccer World Cup provided some extra earnings, with uploads from matches across Brazil and some increased demand from broadcasters.

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

O3b Networks, in which SES has a 47 percent interest, also launched its first four satellites for broadband Internet services last year. It launched a further batch of four this month, with a third batch due off early in 2015.

After the replacement of certain satellites, SES sees capital expenditure falling from 835 million euros in 2011 through 425 million euros last year to an annual average of 450 million in 2016-2018. ($1 = 0.7426 Euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)