Chemring predicts tough 2012 defence market

British military equipment maker Chemring said it expects defence markets to be challenging in 2012 after it posted a six per cent rise in full-year profit, helped by growth in sales to non-NATO markets.

"During the last year, many governments have struggled with increasing deficits and lower economic growth ...this has affected defence procurement, leading to volume reductions and delays," Chemring Chairman Peter Hickson said.

"The continuing problems of the Eurozone and the impact of possible sequestration in the United States indicate that our traditional markets will not be any easier this year."

The company, which makes ejector seats and pyrotechnic decoys for military aircraft, reported an underlying pre-tax profit of £125.6m for the year to the end of October 2011 on revenues 25 per cent up at £745.3m.

Late last year the company said revenues for the year would come in around 5 percent lower than the board's expectations, in part due to delays in contracts it expected to be awarded last October, which slipped into November.

The company said its order book stands at £980m, up nine per cent on January 2011. It added that 44 per cent of its order book now emanates from non-NATO markets, which compares with 33 percent at the same time last year.