- Defence contractor Chemring Group swung to a first-half profit, led by 'strong' sensors & information sector performance, though reiterated that full-year performance would second-half weighed.

For the six months ended 30 April, the company reported a profit before tax of £4.3m, compared with a loss of £1.1m a year earlier, and revenue was up 5% to £139.3m.

The return to profit was led by ramp up in order intakes amid strong performance in its sensors & information sector performance as deliveries commenced on the HMDS IDIQ contract.

Its sensors & information increased revenue by 27% to £53.8m and underlying operating profit increased to £10m from £6.1m a year earlier.

Order intake for continuing operations for the half, was up 37% to £248m from a year earlier.

Underlying margin growth of 8.7% for the half, was unchanged from a year earlier, which the company blamed on the impact of the incident at its UK Countermeasures site last August.

The company declared an interim dividend of 1.2p per ordinary share, up 9% on last year.

Looking ahead, the company expected a significant second-half weighting to revenue, underlying operating profit and cash.

'Significant changes have been implemented in the period to improve safety, strengthen leadership, corporate governance and embed continuous improvement across the Group,' said Michael Ord, Chemring Group Chief Executive.

'The Countermeasures market continues to see growth and significant orders were received in the period; it is against this market strength and our drive to improve safety and operational performance that we will continue to invest to modernise and automate our manufacturing facilities. The phased restart of the UK Countermeasures site remains on track with the site scheduled to be at steady state manufacturing by the end of the current financial year.'

'With 95% of expected H2 revenue in the current order book or delivered to date, the Board's expectations for the current financial year are unchanged.'

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