* FY pretax profit down 20 pct
* Revenue excluding LightSquared up 6 pct
* Expects growth in core business in 2013
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, March 7 Satellite communications
provider Inmarsat posted a 20 percent fall in 2012
pretax profit on Thursday reflecting suspended payments from
LightSquared, a plan to create a new North American mobile
The company, which provides services to ships, aircraft and
military and aid agencies, posted a pretax profit of $294
It reached an agreement last year with LightSquared, which
is backed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners, to
suspend payments until 2014.
Excluding LightSquared, which had rented some of Inmarsat's
airwaves, revenue rose 6 percent to $1.28 billion, the company
said, helped by increased uptake of its newer broadband
Chief Executive Rupert Pearce said the company saw good
progress in its core maritime business, where revenue grew 16
Growth is coming from data as mariners increasingly expect
broadband coverage on ships, he said, which bodes well for the
launch of the first satellite for its Global Xpress
high-capacity superfast network later this year.
Aviation also performed well, Pearce said, particularly
commercial flights, where Inmarsat provides in-flight
communications for airlines including Emirates.
"More than 250 aircraft are now connected, and with 1,000
aircraft in back log, aero passenger connectivity is at the
tipping point," he said. "Passengers are beginning to demand a
connected aircraft when they fly."
The company said it expected the revenue growth to outpace
the expected loss of revenue from services it provides to troops
in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan.
"We remain confident that we will report net revenue growth
in 2013 in our (core) Inmarsat Global MSS business," it said.
Inmarsat shares, up almost 40 percent from a year ago, were
trading at 656.5 pence as of 1120 GMT on Thursday, down 1.35