Inmarsat Q3 earnings up 18.4 pct; says on track


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9 Nov 2010

inmarsat.jpgSatellite operator Inmarsat beat expectations with an 18.4 percent rise in Q3 earnings, helped by growth in aeronautical and leasing services and by an improvement in maritime, its largest sector.

The company, which provides voice and data services to shipping,
aircraft and remote locations worldwide, reported earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $189.5 million
on group revenue of $308.8 million.

Revenue excluding a contribution from its Stratos broadband business was $201.2 million, up 13.9 percent.

Chief Executive Andrew Sukawaty said on Monday that the result kept the group on track for a good result for the year.

The number of the group's terminals on ships rose 5.8 percent, and it
said it was adding maritime broadband services at the rate of more than
2,000 a quarter.

An expanded agreement with AP Moller Maersk, the world's largest
container-shipping line, would contribute before the end of the year,
he said.

Its aeronautic services recorded the strongest growth, up 38 percent,
with the vast majority still coming from its traditional government and
large business jet customers, Sukawaty said.

Emirates Airline, however, uses Inmarsat's network to provide services
on its flights, Sukawaty said, and Singapore Airlines would also start
using its services to offer in-flight calls and email from 2011.

Shares in Inmarsat hit an 11-month low last month after long-term
shareholder U.S. hedge fund Harbinger sold almost half its 28 percent
stake after ruling out making an offer for the British group.

The shares, up 12 percent since the Oct. 20 low, had added 1.4 percent to 684.5 pence by 0929 GMT.

Liberum Capital analyst Mark James, who has a "buy" recommendation on
the stock, said the numbers were 3-4 percent ahead of consensus.

"Inmarsat's Q3 results show good momentum in its underlying business
with Maritime in particular recovering well following a soft Q2," he

Analysts expect Inmarsat to report full-year EBITDA of $674.5 million,
according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 11 brokers.

Source: Reuters


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