Meggitt lifted by plane orders

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH aircraft parts supplier Meggitt posted a 15 per cent rise in first-half profits yesterday, led by strong demand for new more fuel-efficient planes and a robust performance from its military business.

The company, which supplies flight displays and wheels to aerospace leaders Airbus and Boeing, reported an underlying pretax profit of £168.5m. Sales rose 19 per cent to £776m.

The FTSE 100 group increased its interim dividend by 12.5 per cent to 3.6p per share and expressed optimism over its prospects, despite uncertain defence markets.

“Airbus and Boeing have strong order books and look well set for the next three or four years, which is obviously good for us,” said Meggitt chief executive Terry Twigger.

“We have no problems meeting that demand but the military outlook will be murky until the US presidential elections are done.”

Suppliers to the civil aerospace sector have been well supported by order book growth at Airbus and Boeing. The firms expect deliveries in 2012 to far exceed the number of aircraft shipped last year.

The world’s top two aircraft manufacturers are ramping up output and expect to deliver 1,100 planes this year, due to growing demand from airlines for new fuel-efficient planes.

Meggitt’s rivals GKN and Senior last month posted strong profit growth, boosted by an uplift in orders at their aerospace businesses.