Babcock says sales on track

BABCOCK International, the defence services group, delivered an upbeat third-quarter trading statement yesterday saying that its strong order book made it “confident” of meeting its full-year targets.

The business, led by chief executive Peter Rogers, said third-quarter trade had been strong, driven by growth at its defence, security and marine units.

Babcock, which also maintains Royal Navy submarines, yesterday said that its pipeline of contracts that it was bidding for stood at £6bn, up from £5bn three months ago. It added its order book was stable at around £12bn.

The support services firm said: “We are confident of achieving our expectations for this financial year and expect to make further good progress thereafter.”

The firm, which last year bought out rival VT Group, said that its integration was progressing “efficiently” and it was confident of achieving £50m of pre-tax savings in total from the deal by the end of March 2011. Babcock bought VT for £1.5bn last March. It also said the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review would provide it with new “significant” outsourcing business.