Inmarsat profits jump on growth in maritime arm

Satellite operator Inmarsat reported a 23 per cent rise in first-quarter profit yesterday, boosted by growth in its maritime unit.

The news eased concerns about its performance after a badly received statement in March, which sent its shares tumbling.

The provider of telecoms services to ships, aircraft, military and aid services in remote areas said its profit before tax rose 51 per cent to $124.8m (£76m). Its revenues rose 15 per cent to $323.9m.

Investors were cheered by the performance of the company’s core maritime business, where revenue rose 3.2 per cent to $89m.

Payments from a deal with LightSquared contributed $36.5m.

The company said it expects to achieve growth of between two and four per cent this year. This growth has been driven by increasing trends towards data usage, which is a bigger revenue driver than voice calls.

Andrew Sukawaty, Inmarsat chairman and chief executive, said: “The trend of average daily data usage is increasing. If usage continues to track this trend, usage growth will offset the pricing impact of migration over time.”