SES has released its 2016 results, showing a reported revenue of €2,068.8 million, up 2.7% over the previous year.
This has been helped by its growing business in the inflight connectivity sector.
This is part of SES’s mobility business, which represents 6% of group revenue (2015: 3%). Reported mobility revenue grew by 95.4% to €133.7 million (up 95.3% at constant FX).
Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO, said: “2016 was a year of acceleration for us. We continued to execute our strategy of building differentiated capabilities in the four market verticals.
“This contributed to delivering 2.7% growth in reported revenue and the company’s highest ever contract backlog.”
The company has secured major, long-term commitments for existing and future capacity, as well as services, with Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE), Gogo, Panasonic Avionics and Thales.
Through these relationships, it says it is now the partner of choice to all four of the world’s leading providers of inflight connectivity (IFC) and inflight entertainment (IFE), which collectively serve nearly 90% of the total aircraft currently connected worldwide.
In February 2016, it signed a major, multi-year agreement with Panasonic Avionics for HTS and wide-beam capacity aboard SES-14 and SES-15 to serve airline passengers throughout the Americas.
Panasonic Avionics will also utilise the capacity to serve growing maritime markets, as well as oil and gas operations.
Also in February 2016, the company secured a major, long-term agreement with Gogo for HTS and wide beam capacity on SES-14 and -15.
These satellites will deliver optimised coverage and solutions to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and inflight entertainment on travel routes over the Americas, Caribbean and North Atlantic.
These satellites, along with SES-12, are scheduled for launch in 2017 and will significantly enhance the company’s global network of multi-layered (HTS and wide beam capacity) and multi-band capacity to meet the specific requirements of the evolving aeronautical market.
In September 2016, it entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Thales to offer FlytLIVE, using SES-17, across the Americas and over the Atlantic Ocean.
FlytLIVE is a new connectivity solution with full Internet services, including video streaming, games, social media and live television for passengers. Thales will launch FlytLIVE during 2017 on an SES-enabled network in advance of the launch of SES-17, an optimised Ka-band high throughput satellite, in 2020.
The total value of the commitment made by Thales represents a significant share of the expected investment in the project.
In December 2016, GEE acquired a Ku-band payload on-board AMC-3 to expand their network capacity in North America, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, for their airline customers.
The company will operate the non-station-kept satellite, which is well positioned to play a vital role in GEE’s delivery of connectivity solutions.
This was then followed, in January 2017, by a further important multi-transponder agreement with a leading global IFC/IFE provider for capacity across its existing network, as well as supporting ground infrastructure.
- Read our feature based on an interview with SES’s Elias Zaccack at the Apex Expo in Singapore in October 2016.