Whiteley defence firm suffer dent in profits

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WHITELEY defence firm Chemring have blamed a delay in US orders for a slump in profits so far this year.

The firm says the delays were affected by the US budget, which was under continuing resolution which meant it wasn’t decided by the government until late.

Underlying pretax profit fell 21 per cent to £39.2m, largely due to a delay in the US Government awarding a £360m million contract to Niitek, a mine detection subsidiary based in America.

The firm, which employs 4,000 people, said its order book was up 14 percent at one billion pounds since October 2011.

Revenue from continuing operations was up 4 per to £333.3 million for the first half of the year to the end of April.

As previously reported in The News, Chemring has sold its marine arm, based in Langstone Technology Park, Havant, to Drew Marine.

It will be renamed Drew Marine Signal and Safety.

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

It is unknown whether there will be any job losses.

Dr David Price, Chemring Group chief executive, said: ‘As expected, the Group’s results for the first six months of the year were affected by the continuing resolution in the US and the US Government’s delay in awarding the Niitek multi-year support contract until the last day of the period.’

‘Significantly, our order book grew by 14% to a new record of £1 billion, and remains the best leading indicator of our future growth. The order book at 30 April provides 94% cover for full year revenue.

‘The second half has started well, with trading in May up over 50% year-on-year.

‘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.’