Ultra boosts profits despite currency problems - Embedded.com

Ultra boosts profits despite currency problems


LONDON — Defence, security and aerospace electronic systems developer Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (Greenford, England) has increased revenue by 7 percent to £192.9million (about $391million) in the six months to June 30 2007 compared with the same period in 2006 with operating profit also up 7 percent to £27million (about $55million).

The company has an order book of £575million (about $1166million) with aircraft and vehicle systems showing a 15 percent rise to £174million (about $353million).

The company says that revenue and profit improved in the period compared with the previous half-year and this growth was largely organic, with a small contribution from Winfrith Safety Systems, acquired in July 2006.

Foreign exchange rate movements continued to affect Ultra's financial performance adversely, with currency translation having the most significant impact during the period. About 40 percent of Ultra's revenues are generated by its businesses in the U.S. and Canada and both these currencies weakened on average by close to 10 percent compared to the rates that applied during the first half of 2006. Consequently consolidated revenue would have been 4 percent higher if translated at constant rates and operating profit would have been more than 3 percent higher.

Net debt at the end of the period was £5.9million (about $12million) compared to £7.2million (about $14.6million) at the end of 2006.

Ultra operates at all levels in the supply chain, selling to governments and to most major defence and aerospace prime contractors. It has positions on a large number of platforms and programmes – no single programme represents more than 5 percent of the group's sales in any one year.

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