Thursday 8 November 2018 4:18 pm

Satellite firm Inmarsat shares fall as it says full-year revenue will come in at bottom end of guidance

Shares in British satellite firm Inmarsat fell eight per cent as markets opened this morning, as it narrowed full-year revenue guidance despite achieving a solid third quarter.

Revenue for the three months to 30 September rose 3.7 per cent to $369.3m (£281.7m), while profits after tax doubled to $227.7m compared to the same period in 2017.

However Inmarsat said its revenue for the year would only just meet expectations at $1.3bn, at the bottom of its previous guidance range of between $1.3bn and $1.5bn.

The company's maritime division, which is the largest part of its business, sank 5.7 per cent to $135m for the third quarter. Inmarsat attributed this to strong competition in the market and lower revenue from its legacy products, however said it expects the division to be its highest area of revenue growth in the medium term.

Meanwhile revenue in its aviation division grew 34 per cent to $68.2m, as in-flight connectivity rises in popularity with airline operators. 

The results follow an abandoned takeover bid for the firm by US counterpart Echostar earlier this year, which ditched its £3.2bn offer for Inmarsat in July.

Inmarsat chief executive Rupert Pearce said: "Inmarsat's improved results continue to reflect the overall strength of our diverse portfolio, which provides balance, operational synergy and protection against individual market cycles."

"Inmarsat remains at the forefront of our chosen markets, leveraging the strength of our established market position, continuing to deliver an exciting technology roadmap and taking a highly disciplined approach to costs and capital expenditure.

As a result, the group remains well placed to continue delivering medium-term growth in revenue, [earnings before tax and other items], and free cash flow."