- Aerospace engineering specialist Meggitt reported "strong" revenue in the first quarter of 2019 and reiterated its underlying margin growth expectations as it anticipated the trend would continue for the full year.

In the first quarter, civil aerospace revenue grew 7% on an organic basis due to continued strong demand for new-generation aircraft while aftermarket revenue grew 6% as good underlying air traffic in large jets was offset by declining regional jet demand and the effects of a strong prior-year comparator where revenue growth had been supplemented by distributor stocking.

Defence revenue, meanwhile, increased 18% organically with strong demand for its engine composites, brakes and training systems, together with one-off stocking associated with a new distribution agreement signed in late 2018.

It expected elevated costs to continue at its engine composites businesses, supporting a further step-up in production.

And, bucking the trend, energy revenue fell by 8% due to lower demand in the nuclear sector.

Looking forward, although it expected strong revenue growth for the full year, Meggitt was "mindful"of more challenging year-on-year comparators in the remaining three quarters, the potential for air traffic growth to moderate and the uneven nature of demand for defence products.

It said it continued to expect underlying operating margin growth of between 0 to 50 basis points in 2019 (17.7% to 18.2%). It anticipated that its investments would drive progressive margin improvement throughout the second half.

The company also said it had made "further good progress" in executing its key strategic initiatives in the quarter, including the successful deployment of its new customer-aligned organisation, the sale of its non-core ignition business in France, and initial construction of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Ansty Park in the UK.

At 8:21am: [LON:MGGT] Meggitt PLC share price was +13p at 537.2p

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