Inmarsat satellite for plane phone calls is back on after rocket crash

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Inmarsat has rescheduled the launch of its latest GX commercial communications satellite to the end of this month after a launch failure in May by the Russian Proton rocket which was due to carry it.

The rocket blew up eight minutes after launching in Kazakhstan.

Inmarsat said it was welcome news that the launch is back on and predicted that GX will eventually add some $500 million (£321 million) to annual revenues.

It is particularly aimed at bringing mobile phone calls and broadband to airline passengers.

It said that it was close to signing contracts with “several major airlines”.

In the meantime first-half revenues fell back by 5% to $616 million due to a decline in maritime and governments’ spending.

Aviation revenues rose strongly.

Looking at the second half Inmarsat said while it expected to see continued weakness in governments’ spending it predicted underlying growth in aviation, maritime and enterprise revenues.

After-tax profits dropped from  $137 million to $132 million but the interim dividend is raised by 5% to 19.61 cents a share.

The shares increased by 19.5p to 916p.

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August 7, 2015 |
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