Ultra, the international defence, security, transport and energy Group, today issues its pre- close trading statement, ahead of its Interim Results for 2018.
The majority of the Group's operations have had better than anticipated order intake and are expected to deliver half-year revenue and operating performances broadly in line with management expectations. Herley, however, continues to be impacted by cost overruns on development contracts, which are partly customer driven. While Herley anticipates some recovery in the second half of the year, management now anticipate that the expectations for the Group’s operating profit at constant currencies for the full year will be reduced by £4m-£6m.
The order book at £972m at the end of May was strong with the opening order cover for the second half expected to be higher than in recent years. We continue to expect to see organic revenue growth.
As previously guided, the Group’s cash performance will be more heavily weighted to the second half of the year. For the full year, current expectations are for cash conversion of 70-75%. This is due to increased working capital requirements given the higher order book and revenue.
The overall market background for Ultra is more positive, reflecting in particular the improving US defence market. Ultra's interim results announcement for the six months ending 30 June 2018 will be on 6 August 2018.
Simon Pryce, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Although I have only been CEO for a few days, I am excited by what I have seen. It is clear that the Group has a strong and relevant technology base and a range of specialist capabilities supporting a broad number of long term platforms and programmes. We are well positioned in areas of priority spend with significant exposure to the strengthening US defence budget which is reflected in our growing order book.
“Whilst individual programme problems clearly detract from an otherwise broadly satisfactory first half, the team are focussed on addressing operational, programme and customer issues whilst continuing to win new business.”
Simon Pryce, Executive Chief Executive Officer
020 8813 4307
Amitabh Sharma, Group Finance Director
Susan McErlain, Corporate Affairs Director
07836 522 722
James White, MHP Communications
020 3128 8756