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Thu 9 Aug 2007 01:06 PM

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Inmarsat to launch third satellite

Satellite services provider signs deal with International Launch Services.

Global mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat has clinched a deal to launch its third Inmarsat-4 satellite early next year.

The satellite firm announced this week that it had penned an agreement with International Launch Services (ILS) to launch the satellite, which will depart from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in March 2008.

"We are pleased to announce the signing of this contract with ILS. This will allow us to take the global services that are standard for Inmarsat into the new fleet of Inmarsat 4's. We will now have global coverage for all services in the future," Andrew Sukawaty, Inmarsat chairman and CEO said.

The announcement came as the company reported a 63.7% rise in pre-tax profits of US$77.9 million for the first half of 2007.

Revenues for the first half totalled US$284.2 million compared to US$245.9 million for the year-ago period, with second quarter revenues reaching US$143.4 million versus US$124.2 million in the second quarter of 2006.

"We had a record-breaking second quarter for revenue and maintained strong growth trends across our MSS business sectors. The second quarter contributed to excellent results in both revenue and profit for the first half 2007 and we are raising our interim dividend by 8.3%," Sukawaty commented.

By segment, Inmarsat saw the biggest increase in the second quarter in its aeronautical sector with revenues jumping 45% year-on-year to US$10.7 million, while its maritime business and land sector revenues increased 11% to US$80.2 million and 13% to US$33.3 million respectively.

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