Higher aerospace, defence demand drives Gooch & Housego's profit

Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:39am EDT

* First-half adjusted pretax profit rises 34 pct

* First-half turnover up 18.6 pct

* Co raises interim dividend to 2.3 p/shr

June 10 (Reuters) - Fibre-optic devices maker Gooch & Housego Plc on Tuesday reported a 34 percent jump in first-half profit, helped by an uptick in demand from aerospace and defence clients.

The company, which serves customers ranging from industrial clients to scientific research companies, said adjusted pretax profit rose to 5.1 million pounds ($8.6 million) in the six months ended March 31, from 3.8 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue grew 18.6 percent to 34.4 million pounds, driven by strong sales of sub-assemblies for defence applications and continued buoyancy in the sales of navigation components for the civil aerospace market, Gooch & Housego said.

Aerospace and defence clients, for whom Gooch & Housego makes navigational, range finding and target designation parts, accounted for 30 percent of the company's turnover, up from 26 percent a year earlier.

The London-listed company said revenue from the division jumped 37 percent during the period, despite the U.S. government's defence budget cuts.

The Pentagon has been scaling back its defence spending each year, but Gooch & Housego said the cuts were having less impact on its "established programmes", adding that its order book was 29.7 million pounds as of March 31.

The company raised its interim dividend to 2.6 pence per share from 2.3 pence a year earlier.

Shares in Gooch & Housego were trading up 1.8 percent at 662 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 0738 GMT Tuesday morning. ($1 = 0.5956 British pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)