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Cobham names new boss as first-half profit soars

DEFENCE group Cobham posted a jump in its first-half profit yesterday, and said it would continue its acquisition strategy, while promoting chief operating officer Andy Stevens as its new chief executive.<br /><br />Underlying pre-tax profit in the first half of the year rose 32 per cent to &pound;141m, in line with market expectations, on sales up 51 per cent to &pound;952m. <br /><br />The company was also boosted by a number of acquisitions including the american electronics business M/A COM, which it bought last year for $425m.<br /><br />Chief executive Allan Cook, who will retire at the end of the year, said &ldquo;strategic acquisitions&rdquo; were still on the agenda despite a slowdown in its deal rate in 2009.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are looking at deals right now. Size is not important -- we are looking for deals in high growth, high tech areas with strong management,&rdquo; Cook said.