- Defence contractor Ultra Electronics has reported strong growth in its order book and saw organic revenue growth of 5.8% following a 'particularly strong' first half in intelligence and communications.

The company's order book saw a 14% organic increase versus the first half of 2019 and enters the second half of the year with 93% order cover, in line with a year earlier, despite some COVID-19 delays.

Revenue in the six months to 30 June was £413.1m, up 5.8% on an organic basis and 6.7% on a reported basis.

It reported organic revenue growth in two out of three of its business units, with a 'particularly strong' first half in intelligence and communications which grew 11%.

The company said this was driven by the anticipated increased ORION radio orders in H1 and strong command and control system sales.

Underlying pre-tax profit rose 3% to £47.9m, while statutory pre-tax profit fell 21.4% to £29.8m.

It confirmed that defence spend remained 'robust' in all of its key markets, despite the impact of Covid-19.

The company announced it will pay both the final 2019 dividend as originally recommended and an interim 2020 dividend of 15.4p.

Chief executive Simon Pryce said: 'We have very good visibility entering H2. Our major markets remain stable, but we do expect weak commercial aerospace demand to be more of a headwind during the second half.

'We expect SG&A costs to normalise and we are accelerating some of our transformation initiatives.'

At 8:17am: [LON:ULE] Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC share price was +117p at 2305p

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