Car armour helps QinetiQ trump forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH defence technology company QinetiQ reported a better-than-expected full-year operating profit, driven by a strong performance from its global products unit, and said it would resume paying dividends.

QinetiQ, which makes high-tech military equipment such as bomb disposal robots and sniper detectors, said yesterday underlying operating profit rose 21 per cent to £145.4m in the year to the end of March.

That was ahead of the average forecast of £140m.

The group said revenue from the global products division grew by 66 per cent, boosted by demand for its Q-NET vehicle survivability product to support operations in Afghanistan.

That helped it offset the impact of spending cuts in Britain and US.

QinetiQ, formerly Britain’s state-owned defence research agency, said it would resume paying dividends having slashed its debt during the year following a restructuring and cost-cutting measures which reduced operating costs by 10 per cent.

“Our reshaping of the businesses, together with the reduction and refinancing of the debt, all contribute to a leaner and more agile group,” chief executive Leo Quinn said.