- Aerospace and defence contractor Ultra Electronics said it had decided to delay the payment of its 2019 final dividend, citing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company had planned to pay a final dividend of 39.2p per share.

'Based on the board's current knowledge, it intends to pay an additional interim dividend of the same amount in the second half of 2020,' Ultra Electronics said.

'The board will keep this under review as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds.'

The company said trading in the first quarter of 2020 was broadly in line with its expectations 'with good underlying order book, revenue, profit and cash performance'.

Demand in its defence markets and most of its critical detection and control markets remained robust.

'Our supply chains are also proving generally stable, and we are working to mitigate and provide support as necessary where we see isolated issues,' it added.

'Production inefficiency associated with changing working patterns has so far been kept to a minimum.'

Still, the company said it had developed a response plan with detailed actions to mitigate any possible profitability, liquidity and cash flow challenges that may arise.

'Currently we do not see any material deterioration in trading that merits the need to initiate any of these actions,' Ultra Electronics said.

'We are therefore continuing to invest in Ultra where we see opportunities to improve the long-term growth prospects for the business and remain focused on delivering our order book.'

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