StockMarketWire.com - Specialist engineer for the defence, aerospace and energy sectors Meggitt booked 31% fall in first-half profit, owing to lower gains from asset sales, though its underlying profit improved.

The company also increased its organic revenue growth guidance for the full year.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell to £73m, down from £105m on-year.

Revenue rose 12% to £1.07bn and underlying pre-tax profit rose 7% to £145m.

Meggitt declared an interim dividend of 5.55p per share, up 5% on-year.

The company said its underlying operating margin reduced to 15.0%, reflecting additional investment in its engine composites business, and growth in its installed base.

'Trading in the first half was strong, with robust growth in both civil original equipment and defence and good performance in our civil aftermarket business, despite an easing in air traffic growth and lower demand for initial provisioning spares following the grounding of the 737 MAX,' chief executive Tony Wood said.

Consequently, Wood said Meggitt had upped its annual organic revenue growth guidance to 4%-to-6%.

He said the company also remained on track to deliver a margin improvement of between 0 and 50 basis points in 2019.

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