Strong first half for Ultra Electronics

Ultra Electronics, which has an operation in Rugeley, saw both sales and profits rise in the first six months of this year.

Rugeley's Ultra PMES supplies equipment for submarines
Rugeley's Ultra PMES supplies equipment for submarines

The group's revenue grew 6.7 per cent to £413.1 million with pre-tax profits up three per cent to £47.9m for the half year.

Ultra, which swerves the defence and security markets, saw its order book grow by 15.7 per cent to £1.17 billion at the end of June as it made important new contract wins.

Its postponed 2019 and interim 2020 dividends are now to be paid in September.

Chief executive Simon Pryce said: "I am very proud of the performance of the Ultra team in the first half. Our primary objective as we manage through the pandemic is the safety of our people, our families and the communities in which we operate.

"We've responded with great agility by rapidly adapting our processes and working practices whilst continuing to deliver for our stakeholders and particularly our customers. Any minor productivity issues were more than compensated for by lower than anticipated selling, general and administrative costs associated with the changes in ways of working.

"We also made good progress on our transformation initiatives. As a result, we have delivered a strong financial performance in the first half, despite the impact of Covid."

Mr Pryce said Ultra's major markets remain stable, but it did expect weak commercial aerospace demand to be more of a headwind during the second half of the year.

The board remained confident that 2020 would be a year of good progress for Ultra.

"We are continuing to make good strategic progress. Our technology and capabilities are well positioned to address customers' existing and emerging needs. We continue to win good positions on long-term programmes and are pleased with the transformation momentum we have created. We are therefore confident in our ability to create exceptional value for all our stakeholders and in Ultra's exciting future," added Mr Pryce.

Ultra PMES in Rugeley designs and manufactures mission critical, high integrity compact power defence solutions across defence, industrial and energy applications.

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