- Technology group Cohort swung to a first-half loss as delivery slippage and order delays weighed on performance.

The company also announced it had acquired a majority stake in Chess Technologies for an initial cash consideration of up to £49.1m.

For the six months ended 31 October, pre-tax losses were £1.96m, compared with a profit of £0.41m the previous year, revenue fell to £39.5m from £44.0m a year earlier.

The net funds outflow in the first half had been slightly greater than expected 'due to work slipping into the second half,' the company said.

The interim dividend increased by 12% to 2.85p a share.

The company said full-year performance would be similar to that of last year.

'Cohort's result in the first half was lower than in the first half of the previous year, due to a combination of delivery slippage, some at customer request, and order delays,' said Nick Prest, Chairman.

'We previously referred to a number of key order opportunities which could have a major impact on our prospects for 2018/19 and beyond. These orders alone will total over £100m, on top of the £45m of orders won in the first half, and we expect 2018/19 to be a record year for order intake for Cohort.'

'At 30 November our order book was £135.4m (30 April 2018: £102.5m), providing strong underpinning for the second half. We therefore expect, as seen in the last few years, a much stronger performance in the second half.'

'The acquisition of Chess represents a significant expansion, adding a profitable and growing fifth standalone business to Cohort's portfolio. It furthers our strategy of expanding in defence products and export markets. We expect it to be earnings enhancing in the current year.' At 9:00am: [LON:CHRT] Cohort PLC share price was -5p at 410p

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