Ultra order book growth breeds confidence - Embedded.com

Ultra order book growth breeds confidence

LONDON — Defense, security and aerospace specialist, Ultra Electronics, has seen profits grow 13 percent and sales grow 14 percent in the six months to the end of June. Its order book has increased 36 percent to over £550million.

The figures included contributions from the 2005 acquisitions, Horizon Aerospace and Audiopack, and from Polyflex, acquired in January 2006. “Ultra has the capacity to continue its strategy of acquiring, at appropriate prices, complementary businesses that strengthen its market niches,” Douglas Caster, chief executive of Ultra Electronics.

Revenue in aircraft and vehicle systems increased by 15% to £45.6million while operating profit was 10 percent lower at £6.9million. At £150.6million, the value of the order book at the end of the period was double that at June 2005 reflecting, in the main, the receipt of a number of contracts for equipment for the second tranche of the Eurofighter aircraft programme.

Revenue in information and power systems grew slightly to £60.1million while operating profit increased by 25 percent to £9.1million. The order book at the end of the period increased by 2 percent to £115.6million. Revenue growth benefited from strong growth in sales of ADSI command and control systems and of airport IT systems offset by the completion of some rail and naval power equipment contracts.

The revenue in tactical and sonar systems increased by 25 percent to £75.0million and operating profit increased by 27 percent to £9.3million. The closing order book of £287.4million was 31% higher than at June 2005.

Overall the operating margin was maintained at 14 percent with 11 pecent of the revenue growth was organic.

Ultra says the trend in defense budgets continues to focus on achieving smart capability through the procurement of new electronic equipment and the periodic upgrade of existing platforms. While there are ambitious plans for 'smarter' equipment, there continue to be pressures on budgets as funds are allocated to meet the priorities of current peacekeeping operations.

The group says its is experiencing strong demand for its range of niche products such as battlespace IT equipment and solutions for improved mobility to support expeditionary operations.

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