Defence giant announces fall in half-year profits

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WHITELEY defence giant Chemring has announced a slump in profits for the first half of the year.

In its financial report the firm says that underlying pretax profit fell from £49.9m to £39.2m – a 21 per cent decrease.

The fall in figures is being put down to a delay in US defence orders and the US government awarding a £360m contract to Niitek, a mine detection subsidiary based in America.

Delays in overseas deliveries are being blamed on the US budget, which was not decided until late because it was under continuing resolution.

The firm, which employs 4,000 people, said its order book was up 14 per cent at £1bn since October 2011.

But revenue from continuing operations was up 4 per to £333.3m for the first half of the year to the end of April.

Revenue from non-Nato customers was also up 31 per cent to £101.6m, compared to £77.5m in the first half of last year.

The statistics come as Chemring, which makes flares and decoys for helicopters and planes, looks to sell its marine arm based in Langstone Technology Park, Havant, to Drew Marine.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of July.

The firm will be renamed Drew Marine Signal and Safety and will remain at its Havant headquarters.

It is not known whether there will be any job losses.

Dr David Price, Chemring Group chief executive, said: ‘The board is confident that the group will deliver a strong second half trading performance, with increased operating margins that will enable us to meet our full year expectations.’