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Iridium Announces Subscriber And Revenue Growth Rates

BethesdA MD (SPX) Nov 30, 2004
Iridium Satellite Monday announced that its subscriber base grew by 29 percent for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 versus the comparable period in 2003.

Revenue grew by 27 percent for the third quarter and 21 percent for the nine-month period versus the same periods last year. This new figure compares with the previous growth rate of 17 percent for the first six months of 2004, which Iridium announced when it exceeded the 100,000-subscriber mark in July.

"Iridium's subscribers and revenue increased solidly in the double digits as we saw steady growth across our business, especially in the maritime, aviation and defense market segments," said Iridium's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Carmen Lloyd.

"Through the first nine months of this year, we also reduced our operating costs and accelerated our EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) growth."

In related financing news, Iridium recently closed an agreement for a $65.5 million credit facility with Bank of America, which replaces a similar facility with Riggs Bank. Iridium will use this facility for general corporate purposes.

Chief Financial Officer Richard Halka said, "The addition of Bank of America as our banking partner strengthens our financial resources and provides us with access to the expertise of one of the world's largest financial institutions. The new agreement is a further vote of confidence in continued growth for Iridium and the mobile satellite communication services we provide."

In commenting on the company's recent developments, Lloyd said, "The last few months have been particularly productive for Iridium in our key vertical markets. In the aviation market, General Dynamics received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin certification of the Iridium-based satellite communications equipment used in the FAA's Capstone Communications Control System. This is an important program for safer flying in Alaska."

"Honeywell is upgrading aircraft with a next generation Iridium-based satellite communications system, and we formed a reseller agreement with Verizon Airfone," he said.

"In the maritime segment, we added major shipping customers, such as Columbia Shipmanagement, Stolt-Nielsen, EastMed and Univan Ship Management, through our service providers. And, in the public sector, the Department of Defense exercised its contract option with us again this year," Lloyd concluded.

"These developments bode well for Iridium's continued strong growth in revenue and subscribers."

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UAE's Thuraya Launches Maritime Telephone Service
Dubai, UAE (SPX) Nov 29, 2004
Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Sunday the launch of a new maritime satellite telephone service. The new service will include voice, data, fax and Internet.

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