Inmarsat takes off as shrinking government returns take the shine off a "solid quarter"

 
Oliver Gill
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Inmarsat is headquartered at London's Old Street (Source: Inmarsat)

Shares in UK satellite firm Inmarsat took off today, with investors buoyed by the firm's "positive momentum".

First quarter revenue rose 4.8 per cent to $345.4m (£253m) but earnings slipped 4.5 per cent to $174.9m.

Inmarsat's aviation and enterprise divisions were stand out performers with sales swelling 39 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively. The London-listed firm's stock rose almost eight per cent in morning trading.

Boss Rupert Pearce called the returns for the first three months of 2018 "solid".

Read more: Inmarsat shares fall as it cuts dividend to propel in-flight Wi-Fi drive

"Good revenue growth, [is] building on the positive momentum we achieved during the course of 2017," he said.

“Given our track record, unique capabilities, differentiated market position and strong channels to market, we are increasingly well placed to deliver further annual revenue growth across all of our target maritime, government, aviation and enterprise markets.”

Aside from taking a $9m hit to its bottom line from adverse foreign currency movements, the major black mark against Inmarsat during the quarter was a nine per cent fall in government revenues. This, however, was widely expected, and a result of "lower contracted revenue from Boeing take-or-pay contract and the end of exceptional operational revenue outside the US".

Read more: Inmarsat shares rocket before sinking on earnings shrink

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