QinetiQ FY profit lower, says on track for 2014

LONDON Thu May 22, 2014 2:18am EDT

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LONDON May 22 (Reuters) - British defence technology company QinetiQ Group reported lower annual profits on the impact of lower military spending, and said it was on track to meet forecasts for the coming year.

QinetiQ's full-year underlying operating profit fell 21 percent to 132.7 million pounds ($224 million) in the 12 months to March 31 compared to the year earlier period, beating a company-supplied analyst consensus forecast of 127 million pounds.

The company, the former research arm of Britain's Ministry of Defence, is seeking more civilian customers for its technology products to make up for declining military spending across the U.S. and Europe.

QinetiQ also said on Thursday that it was hiking its full-year dividend by 21 percent, reflecting confidence that its strategy of attracting new commercial customers was gaining traction. ($1 = 0.5925 British Pounds) (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)