Forecast fears hit Inmarsat

 
Steve Dinneen
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SATELLITE communications firm Inmarsat plunged nearly 20 per cent yesterday after ripping up its growth forecasts.

The firm said a turndown in its maritime mobile satellite services (MSS) business, where customers are switching from voice calls to cheaper data services, means revenues will now be lower than the two to four per cent forecast. It expects its maritime revenues to be broadly flat.

Its five year forecast is also under review, with chairman and chief executive Andrew Sukawaty saying it will take time for new services to realise their potential. However, the firm, which provides voice and data services to ships, aircraft and remote locations, said its spectrum-sharing deal in North America would keep full-year profit on track.

The group reported a 32 per cent rise in second quarter core earnings to $222.7m (£136m) on 24 per cent higher revenue of $359m. Revenue in its maritime unit was $181.3m, down form $181.7m a year ago.

Sukawaty said: “While we believe that a return to more normalised revenue growth in our maritime business is only a matter of time, we expect near-term factors will constrain growth for longer than previously anticipated.”