LONDON -- Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L ) , the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, or MSS, was up 10% this morning following an announcement that its core maritime business had returned to growth. Global MSS revenue rose 4.2% to $189 million, while total maritime-sector revenue was up 12.7% to $200.9 million. Overall group revenue shaded up just $1 million to $684 million, compared with $683 million in the first half of 2011.
The return to growth was attributed to the impact of new pricing initiatives and strong uptake of its FleetBroadband subscription service: 4,305 new terminals were added in the first half of this year, bringing the installed base to more than 30,000. Growth in the maritime sector helped offset a downturn in the land mobile sector, which continues to be hit by a decline in revenue from government users in Afghanistan.
Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said: "The results for the first half and second quarter show that we have returned our core MSS business to growth, fuelled by continuing strong subscriber take up and the benefits of pricing initiatives. In light of on-going momentum in subscriber additions, we are making further progress towards meeting our expectations for the full year."
Shareholders should also be buoyed by news that Avanti Communications (LSE: AVN.L ) successfully launched HYLAS 2 yesterday. Inmarsat won a groundbreaking deal to provide real-time satellite control services for Avanti back in 2008 and already controls HYLAS 1, which launched in November 2010.
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