Aviation broadband demand pushes up Inmarsat’s profits

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British satellite operator, Inmarsat, has reported a 15 per cent rise in fourth-quarter core earnings after strong demand for aviation broadband offset weakness elsewhere in the business.

Inmarsat, which is headquartered in London and provides global mobile satellite communications to ships, aircraft and remote locations, posted full year revenue of £1.47bn, up 5.3 per cent over the previous year.

Earnings before interest, tax and other items came in 4.2 per cent higher at £770m.

The company saw a rise in demand for mobile phone connectivity during flights, which more than doubled revenues.

Demand for more in-flight calls

In-Flight Connectivity ("IFC") revenues more than doubled to $101.3m, including first GX IFC airtime revenues and with materially improved cash flow, the firm said in a stock market statement. 

It also said it had improved its IFC market position with a growing order book and a strategic agreement with Panasonic. The core business also continues to deliver high margin double-digit revenue growth, Inmarsat said.

Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, said the results showed consistency within the FTSE250 listed firm.

"Inmarsat delivered consistent growth in 2018, building on our return to growth established in 2017. I am particularly pleased by the 85% revenue growth in GX services and a doubling of our IFC revenues, both of which augur well for the future.

"We remain focused on building and defending substantial market share in our target markets, supported by our diversified product portfolio and leading-edge networks. This will ensure we are able to fully capitalise on both the immediate and longer-term growth opportunities in these markets.

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