- Defence contractor Ultra Electronics booked a 14% rise in annual profit as it won new contracts, including for supplying radios to the US Navy and orders for sonobuoy and torpedo arrays.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December increased to £103.7 million, up from £91.0 million year-on-year, as revenue climbed 4.2% to £859.8 million.

Ultra Electronics declared a full-year dividend of 56.9p per share, up 5% year-on-year.

Looking ahead, the company said it was planning for continued revenue growth in 2021, although it did not expect to see any improvement in commercial aerospace revenue until at least 2023.

Operating margins, however, were expected to reduce owing to transformation investments, increased R&D spending and a normalizing of travel and marketing costs as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

'We enter 2021 with a record order book giving us strong visibility and are very well positioned in key growth areas and to support customers' evolving priorities,' chief executive Simon Pryce said.

Pryce added that the company's so-called ONE Ultra transformation programme was having a positive impact on growth opportunities.

He was confident the company could accelerate several of its transformation actions in 2021.

'This should see us begin to realise year-on-year benefits in 2022, a year ahead of plan,' Pryce said.

Story provided by