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A GLOBAL defence company has reported an 18 per cent increase in its profits worldwide.

Chemring, which has its headquarters in Whiteley, near Fareham, specialises in countermeasures, counter-IEDs, pyrotechnics and munitions for the defence, security and safety markets.

Its preliminary results for the year up to October 31 show its revenue was up at £597.1m, compared to £503.9m last year.

Chemring employs more than 4,000 people in the UK, US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and Australia, and exports to 80 countries where its customers include the armed forces, security forces and commercial marine operators.

The company’s profits were affected by restructuring costs and two incidents – a fire in Belgium, and a serious incident at its Kilgore flares facility in Tennessee.

That incident resulted in three employees being seriously injured and damage to the facility and to stock.

The report states that: ‘As a result of these incidents approximately £7m of revenue and £3m of underlying operating profit was deferred into the current financial year.

‘In addition, £2.8m of non-recurring costs arising out of the incidents were incurred in respect of the write-off of damaged stock and destroyed assets.’

But despite those incidents, and in the face of defence spending cuts from the UK coalition government, the company is anticipating another good year ahead.

Peter Hickson, Chemring group chairman, said: ‘Our current order book of £902m, our solid balance sheet and our proven strategy for growth provide clear visibility of the prospects for 2011 and should provide the foundation for further growth in the future.’