13 Nov 07. Babcock International Group: Interim Results. Babcock announced (13 Nov 07) interim results for the half-year which ended on 30 Sep 07. Turnover was £672.6m (£487.6m on 30 Sep 06) and profit before tax was £39.2m (£26.4m). The order book stood at £3,300m.
Comment: The Chief Executive pointed out that, following the acquisition of DML, Babcock was “the leading provider of support to the Royal Navy’s surface and submarine fleet”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0745, 19 Nov 07)
13 Nov 07. VT Group: Interim Results. VT announced (13 Nov 07) interim results for the half-year ended on 30 Sep 07. Turnover was £573.1m (£466.7m on 30 Sep 06) and profit before tax was £34.2m (£26.2m). The order book stood at £3,700m.
Comment: VT made some interesting predictions. A contract for the UK Military Flying Training System is expected to be signed “by the end of 2007”. The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft contract should be closed “early in 2008”. A preferred bidder for the Search and Rescue Service could be nominated “early in 2009”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0745, 19 Nov 07)
FT Comment:VT Group is closing in on two big military service contracts and hopes to become preferred bidder on a waste management private finance bid in Wakefield that it said could double its order book by the end of the financial year in March. By the end of September, the shipbuilding and defence-focused services group had lifted its order book by £200m to £3.7bn compared with the interim period last year, thanks to a £150m shipbuilding deal for Trinidad and Tobago and regular contracts worth up to £50m. In the six months to the end of September, pre-tax profits, including intangibles, rose 31 per cent to £34.2m on revenue ahead 23 per cent at £573.1m. Organic revenue growth improved to 14.2 per cent in the period of which just under half was from shipbuilding. The group is spinning off its shipbuilding business into a joint venture with BAE Systems, which will lead to an eventual exit. The group then plans to focus exclusively on higher-margin engineering-based services. Mr Lester said that, stripping out shipbuilding, organic growth would be in excess of 10 per cent, but that this would be augmented by acquisitions. “We are looking at an engineering logistics support company in the US with revenues of $70m [£33.8m] that would help move us up the value chain there,” he said, “and we are still doing due diligence on BNFL that represents an opportunity to enter the nuclear market in the UK.” Earnings per share rose 40 per cent to 16p (11.4p) and the interim dividend is up 9 per cent to 3.55p (3.25p).
Nov 07. Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research), issued a better-than-expected quarterly profit and outlook on Monday, driven by strong sales of notebook computers. HP also announced an $8bn additional share buyback program, but market reaction was muted by uncertainty over how much the U.S. credit crisis will hurt technology demand in coming months. HP shares rose 1.4 percent in extended trading to $50.15. The results came after International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) warned of weakness in orders from U.S. financial institutions, which are mired in mortgage-related losses. Chief Executive Mark Hurd told reporters on a conference call that HP saw a “fairly steady environment” in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on October 31, helped by lower computer component prices. “We do not have a huge exposure to the financial services industry,” Hurd said. “We saw no change in spending in financial services in the quarter.”Net income in the quarter rose 28 percent to $2.16bn, or 81 cents per share, from $1.7bn, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier, HP said. Earnings before items was 86 cents per share, beating the average Wall Street forecast of 82 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue grew 15 percent to