StockMarketWire.com - Engineering consultancy Ricardo plans to raise around £29.3 million from a new share issue, it has announced.

Struck at 333p per new share, the fundraising, which includes a retail offer on the PrimaryBid platform, implies a rough 10% discount to the 369p share price yesterday and will expand the shares in issue by 16.5% to about 48 million.

The company said it would use the proceeds to pay down debt and give it greater flexibility to invest in the company to position it for new technologies such as hydrogen and electrification and run the business in the medium term.

In a trading update, Ricardo said it had received new orders worth £105.2 million in the third quarter of 2020, the first quarter of the company's financial year, an increase of 19% on the same period in 2019.

However, while the order level was strong for the first three months of its financial year, £20 million of the total was tied to 'two large multi-year programmes which are workable over a longer period'.

The company said it continued to experience challenging conditions in automotive and industrial and expected the order intake that is workable in the short term to remain at a low level in the remaining months of 2020.

Ricardo said group revenue and trading performance was expected to be materially more weighted towards the second half of the current financial year than in previous years.

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