- Shares in UK defence group Chemring rose Thursday after it reported a return to profits in the six months to the end of April and said it expects higher US defence spending to bolster performance.

For the six-months to 30 April, statutory profit before tax rose to £4.3m compared with a loss of £6.8m the previous the year, revenue fell 2% to £229.3m, while underlying earnings per share rose to 410p to 3.20p.

Order intake in the period was £208m, slightly below the £218m seen last year.

The order book at half year was lower at £442m, from £478m the same period a year ago.

Approximately £212m of the £442m is expected to be delivered in the second-half, representing a cover of approximately 80% of expected second-half revenues, the company said.

The company declared an interim dividend of 1.1p per share, up from 1.0p the prior period.

Full-year expectations remained unchanged as the company said it expects increases to the US Defense budget to support performance.

'Market conditions and business performance in the first half of 2018 have continued to strengthen, with margins and earnings improving across the Group,' said Michael Flowers, Chemring Group Chief Executive.

'We expect this trend to continue as the impact of significant increases to the US Defense budget start to flow through, with the Group maximising the impact of these improvements through improved delivery performance resulting from the Operational Excellence Programme.'

At 8:56am: [LON:CHG] Chemring Group PLC share price was +2.25p at 219.25p

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