- Defence-sector focused engineering group Ultra Electronics said its first-half profit fell by more than a third, owing to adverse currency movements and cost overruns on some development contracts.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell to £20.0m, down from £30.9m a year earlier, as revenue fell 4.3% to £350.5m.

The company kept its interim dividend steady at 14.6p per share.

'The majority of Ultra's operations have had better-than-expected order intake during the period reflecting an improvement in our major market,' chairman Douglas Caster said.

'As previously disclosed, cost overruns on specific development contracts impacted the reported results, however the group as a whole performed broadly in line with management expectations.'

Chief executive Simon Pryce said the company was well positioned in areas of priority spend , ith significant exposure to the strengthening US defence budget.

'We will also be looking at the potential for greater connectivity, operational improvement and further targeted investment in core technology, processes and people,' Pryce said.

'Management's expectations for 2018 are unchanged from our recent pre-close trading statement.'

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