- Defence contractor Ultra Electronics posted a 55% rise in first-half profit, citing robust demand in its core markets of defence and critical detection.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March amounted to £46.2 million, up from £29.8 million year-on-year.

Revenue rose 4.7% to £404.5 million and the value of the company's order book rose 14% to £1.27 billion.

Ultra Electronics declared an interim dividend of 16.2p per share, up 5.2% year-on-year.

'We delivered good underlying revenue growth in the period and operational performance was strong, despite the mainly Covid-19 driven operational inefficiencies in Maritime which have now been broadly resolved,' chief executive Simon Pryce said.

'Our strong first half demonstrates the benefits of Ultra's strategic re-positioning as an agile player in growing markets, with a strong technology base focused on addressing customers' future needs.'

'Our operating and financial performance already reflects improved execution from our transformation programme and supports our aspiration to continue to drive above market growth and margin expansion over time.'

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