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Iridium Reports 19% Billable Subscriber Increase in 2021 Second Quarter Earnings

By Jeffrey Hill | July 20, 2021

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation operator Iridium Communications grew its total billable subscribers 19% year-over-year during its second fiscal quarter of 2021 (Q2 21), driving growth across all of its service categories and allowing the company to update its full-year 2021 outlook.

As a result of increased strength in its recurring service revenue, Iridium generated a net income of $3.8 million in Q2 21, compared to a net loss of $12.4 million in the same period last year. Its total revenue and service revenue both increased 7% to $149.9 million and $121.3 million, respective, versus the comparable period of 2020. Commercial service revenue, which represents the largest part of Iridium’s business, was $95.6 million, up 8% from last year’s comparable period.

Iridium’s government service revenue grew slightly from $25 million in 2Q 20 to $25.8 million in 2Q 21. The operator expects the division’s growth to accelerate with the ramp-up of a seven-year, $738.5 million fixed-price airtime Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services contract it signed with the U.S. Air Force Space Command in September 2019.

The operator ended the quarter with 1,616,000 total billable subscribers – up 19% from the 1,362,000 subscriber total it reported in Q2 20. Iridium CEO Matt Desch said that the company signed up nearly 100,000 new end-users in the second quarter alone.

“Demand for Iridium’s services have never been better,” said Desch. “This revenue growth, especially in IoT and broadband, is indicative of the power of Iridium’s global partner ecosystem who embed us into innovative applications and products.”

Desch also raised Iridium’s full-year outlook for service revenue growth to between 4% and 5%.  “This upward revision reflects the demand we are seeing across many industries for Iridium solutions and bodes well for continued growth as we move into the future,” he said.

Iridium now expects full-year 2021 OEBITDA between $365 million and $375 million. Its OEBITDA for 2020 was $355.6 million.