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Inmarsat posts humble revenue growth as satellite giant gears up for Viasat’s £5.4bn takeover

British satellite giant Inmarsat reported a humble 6.3 per cent hike in revenue to $1.35bn (£1.03bn) in 2021 as the company gears up for the completion of its $7.3bn (£5.4bn) takeover by US rival Viasat.

Chief executive Rajeev Suri said the results “all reflect strong improvements and robust momentum in our business”, and said Inmarsat’s overall growth was “significantly outpacing our market”.

Financial highlights also included an 12.8 per cent year-on-year increase in underlying EBITDA to $750m (£573m), whilst costs remained “well under control”.

However, Suri did admit that the pandemic continued to “create a host of operational difficulties and continued to depress many sectors”, citing aviation as a key problem area for the company.

It is understood that this will be its last annual report before the UK company is formally taken over.

“The long-rumoured consolidation in satellite communications started to become a reality, with Viasat and Inmarsat leading the way”, Suri commented.

He said the combination would make “an immediate global leader”, with over $4bn (£3.1bn) in combined annual revenue and strong profitability.

The pair will have the opportunity to generate cost synergies, particularly related to the capital expenditure needed for future network expansion.

Inmarsat provides mobile satellite services that underpin email, internet and video conferencing, as well as in-flight wifi.

It has 14 satellites in orbit and plans to launch another seven. It also supplied satellite services to the Ministry of Defence to improve ground communications for troops fighting in Afghanistan.

Inmarsat was listed on the London Stock Exchange before being taken private two years ago by a consortium including the private equity firm Apax.

Meanwhile, Viasat, which has a UK base and supplies services and products to the MoD, said it expected the combined company to be able to make cost savings of $190m (£145m) a year.

Inmarsat’s current owners will become shareholders of Viasat after closing and have a long-term opportunity to participate in the future growth of the combined company.

On top of this, the UK will gain from a growth of skilled employees and R&D investment in the country. City AM

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