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04 Mar 10. Acquisitions and currency effects helped Cobham’s underlying profits rise more than 20 per cent as it promised further growth in 2010. Andy Stevens, the company’s former chief operating officer who took over as chief executive at the start of the year, said the aerospace and defence manufacturer would continue to focus investment – both organic and acquisitions – on core areas such as communications equipment, cyber security and battlespace technology. The company, which makes everything from air-to-air refuelling gear to military intercoms, generates 62 per cent of its revenue from the US market. It was well placed to benefit from the government’s recent defence review, said Mr Stevens. For the year to December 31, Cobham reported underlying profits of £295m, up 21 per cent, on revenue of £1.9bn, up 28 per cent. Pre-tax profits jumped from £120.7m to £244.9m. However, organic revenue growth in Cobham’s technology divisions, at 1 per cent, was slower than expected due to the extended trough in commercial aerospace. The company’s order book at the end of December shrank from £2.7bn to £2.4bn. But it said that did not include a $1.2bn (£797m) US Army communications system contract. Mr Stevens said: “The board expects further progress in 2010, although earnings are expected to be more than usually weighted to the second half.” He added that Cobham was also well placed for further acquisitions, with about £750m of headroom. The total dividend is 5.45p (4.95p), following a 3.97p final, and will be paid from earnings per share up 22 per cent at 15.4p. The shares fell 4.4p to 244.1p.
*FT Comment
Andy Stevens has been in the top job at Cobham for a little more than two months but has been at the defence group since 2003 so investors should expect tweaks rather than radical changes in strategy. Expect a greater emphasis on synergies and cost efficiencies. Organic revenue growth in the main manufacturing businesses should start to recover this year with a target still of high single-digit growth. Net debt is also down. Shares in Cobham are trading on a prospective multiple of 12 times 2009 earnings, a discount to their historic rating of about 15. Further deals should prove an additional fillip.

04 Mar 10. Net profit TenCate EUR 23.9m; reduction of net debt position by EUR 136m. Dividend EUR 0.60 per share (60% pay-out)
Highlights 2009
* Revenues: EUR 842m (2008: EUR 1,033m; -18% autonomous).
* EBITA: EUR 41.5m (2008: EUR 95.4m).
* EBITA margin: 4.9% (2008: 9.2%).
* Net profit: EUR 23.9m (2008: EUR 51.1m).
* Stringent cash management effective: net debt reduced by EUR 136m to EUR 195m.
* Operational cash flow EUR 145m (+200%).
* Exceptional expenditure in EBITA: EUR 11m (2008: income EUR 5m), EUR 6.4mi of which for reorganization costs (approximately EUR 5m in 4(th) quarter).
* Stock depletion and a restrained policy on credit within synthetic turf activities lead to extra under-utilized capacity.
* Steep decrease in costs as a result of reduction in personnel.
* Dividend proposal: EUR 0.60 per share in cash or as stock dividend, entirely at shareholder’s discretion (2008: EUR 0.85 [50% stock dividend/50% stock dividend option]).
General performance in the fourth quarter of 2009
Revenues declined by 18% in autonomous terms in the fourth quarter (-5% currency effect) to EUR 186m. At the TenCate Protective Fabrics market group there were temporarily low revenues in the US as a result of high inventories in the chain with regard to a number of products for the US Army. In the TenCate Space & Aerospace Composites and TenCate Advanced Armour market groups, traditional year-end orders failed to materialize; a part of these revenues will, however, be shifted to the future. Less emphasis was placed on discounted off-season sales within the TenCate Grass group. TenCate Grass production volume has been adjusted accordingly and this has resulted in lower debtor and stock positions. A substantial part of t

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