LONDON Aug 8 British defence electronics group
Cobham posted a 3 percent fall in first-half pretax
profit, weighed down by U.S. defence spending cuts, and kept its
full-year outlook unchanged.
Cobham, whose products help aircraft and military vehicles
communicate, said its underlying pretax profit for the six
months to the end of June fell to 137 million pounds ($212
million) from 141 million pounds.
Revenue rose 2 percent over the period to 864 million
pounds, primarily due to the impact of acquisitions and
divestments. Its order book increased to 2.5 billion pounds from
2.4 billion pounds at the end of 2012 on the back of strong
orders at its Aviation Services division.
"We have delivered results consistent with our full year
guidance, in a US defence/security market that continues to be
challenging," Chief Executive Bob Murphy said.
"We anticipate that we will continue to perform in line with
our previous full year guidance for 2013. While the outlook for
US Government spending remains highly uncertain, on the basis of
current market trends, there is the potential to deliver modest
organic growth in 2014," he said.
Cobham has been making acquisitions in the commercial sector
in a bid to reduce its reliance on the defence sector. In July
it took full control of FB Heliservices, a helicopter training
joint venture with Bristow Helicopters, for 74 million pounds.
Organic revenue at its U.S. defence and security business,
which makes up almost 38 percent of Cobham's business, fell 7
percent over the six months and reduced by 9 percent at its
non-US defence arm. At its commercial business, which has grown
to account for 36 percent of its revenue, organic revenue rose
by 8 percent.
Defence firms have been hit by delays and uncertainty over
contracts as the United States began reducing its spending by
$37 billion for the fiscal 2013 year in March. Its budget is set
to shrink by $50 billion annually over the next nine years,
unless Congress acts to avoid these cuts.