- Defence and aerospace engineer Meggitt booked a 33% rise in annual profit but warned the coronavirus outbreak and grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft would dent its performance in 2020.

The company also announced that chairman Nigel Rudd planned to stand down to spend more time on his business and other interests.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December 2019 rose to £286.7m, up from £216.1m on-year. Revenue climbed 9% to £2.28bn.

Meggitt declared a full-year dividend of 17.50p per share, up 5% on-year.

The company said organic revenue growth in 2020 would be limited to 2-4% thanks to the coronavirus and 737 MAX grounding. Underlying operating margin was seen rising 30-to-50 basis points.

Looking even further ahead, Meggitt said it expected to deliver low to mid-single digit organic revenue growth in 2021 and underlying operating margins of 18.5%-to-19.0%.

'With a clear strategy, good cash generation and our increasing market share across our growing installed base of 73,000 aircraft, we are well positioned to sustain growth ahead of the market over the medium term,' chief executive Tony Wood said.

Rudd, who was appointed chairman in 2015, would remain in the position until a replacement was found.

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