SpaceX's Starlink falls short of growth expectations despite revenue surge - WSJ

FILE PHOTO: Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona

(Reuters) - SpaceX's satellite internet venture Starlink posted a more than six-fold surge in revenue last year to $1.4 billion, but fell short of targets set by CEO Elon Musk, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing documents.

The company had in a 2015 presentation projected the division would generate almost $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit in 2022, the report said.

Starlink has also been signing up customers at a pace that is much slower than its expectations, with the unit having more than a million active subscribers by 2022 end, the Journal said.

It had expected to have 20 million subscribers by the end of the year, according to the report.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Starlink has been in the spotlight since last year as it helps provide Ukraine with satellite communications key to its war effort against Russia.

The fast-growing network of more than 4,000 satellites in low Earth orbit in June signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for its satellite services.

Musk had said in 2021, before the Ukraine war, that SpaceX will list Starlink when its cash flow is reasonably predictable.

The Journal reported last month that SpaceX's surging revenue helped it turn a small profit in the first quarter of 2023 after two annual losses.

(Reporting by Arsheeya Bajwa in Bengaluru)