Chemring profit tumbles in tough year

Defence equipment manufacturer Chemring this morning said pre-tax profit sank 42 per cent over the year to October, in a difficult year that has seen profit warnings and collapsed takeover talks.

The company, which makes defence equipment such as flares and explosive device detectors, said underlying pre-tax profit fell to £70.1m, down from £120.2m over the same period in 2011.

Revenue edged up two per cent to £740.3m.

Chemring, which last year appointed Mark Papworth as chief executive amid takeover talks with private equity group Carlyle, said "ongoing market uncertainty continues to affect visibility".

"2012 was a particularly disappointing year for the business, characterised by uncertainty in our markets and a number of factors that disrupted our operational performance," said Peter Hickson, Chemring group chairman.

"These difficult market conditions are expected to remain in place in 2013, with defence spending in the US, UK and Europe likely to remain under significant pressure."