- Defence technology company QinetiQ said it had continued to perform in line with its expectations but had nevertheless decided to defer a decision on paying a final dividend until later in the year.

In a trading update for the year through March 2020, the company said it had built on a strong first half to the financial year and 'continued to perform in line with our expectations during the remainder of the 2020 financial year despite the impact of Covid-19'.

Still, QinetiQ said the crisis was affecting all its key markets and that it was continuing to monitor closely the impact on its business.

'We have seen some level of disruption to customer trials and product shipments due to changing customer priorities and travel restrictions,' the company said.

'Whilst we have a strong order book, underpinned by significant long-term contracts we are taking a measured approach to protecting skills and critical capabilities, delivering flexibly for our customers and ensuring resilience within the business.'

QinetiQ said its chief executive and chief financial officer had taken a 33% salary cut and the wider board a 25% fee reduction.

'We are also taking a prudent approach to controlling cash outflows, including reducing operating expenditure and deferring discretionary capital expenditure,' it added.

QinetiQ said it had a strong balance sheet and expect to end the 2020 financial year with about £60m of net cash available.

It also had an undrawn committed revolving credit facility of £275m.

'Our customers are typically well-rated governments and at present we do not anticipate the current COVID-19 situation to negatively impact their payment practices,' the company said.

'With a strong balance sheet and order backlog of nearly £3bn we enter the 2021 financial year from a position of strength, however we are realistic that restrictions imposed by governments internationally to counter the spread of Covid-19 will have an impact on revenues.'

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