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7 Jan 03. Cobham Plc said on Tuesday that trading for 2002 has been in line with expectations, with a strengthening in the second half of the year. The Group enters 2003 confident that its position as a leading supplier to the global aerospace and defence industries will yield opportunities for further growth in the future.

Cobham also said it has made three acquisitions, each of which are expected to be earnings enhancing in 2003. A number of new orders were secured in the fourth quarter of 2002, both contributing to the Group’s existing order book and its position as a leading supplier to the global aerospace and defence industries. The Group also said it has finalised its long-term financing arrangements. Following the issue of $225m of new loan notes in October with an average life of just over nine years, the group concluded the second part of its financing arrangements in December 2002. New banking facilities of £200m were finalised, of which £150m has a five year term with £50m being a 364 day facility with an option to term out. These arrangements will provide secure long term funds for the development of the group.

Cobham said that in December two acquisitions were completed and agreement reached for one further acquisition. Chelton has acquired the Blackburn U.K. based land platforms communications business (LPC) from BAE Systems for £30m in cash. LPC was established in the 1950’s as part of the U.K.’s Royal Ordnance to provide Rovis intercommunications systems for armoured vehicles. In 2002, LPC’s revenues were in excess of £25m and are expected to generate net profits before tax in excess of £4m. LPC has an order backlog of over £18m. Chelton Radomes has acquired SAAB’s Applied Composites Division for £1.7m in cash plus an additional deferred cash payment up to £1.2m based upon the capture of future programmes. Cobham said the business is currently based in Linkoping and Ljunby, Sweden. Chelton intends to invest immediately in extensive new development and test facilities that will see the entire operation located on an expanded Linkoping site.

The company will trade as Chelton Applied Composites (CAC). CAC provides the main nose radome for the Gripen fighter. In addition to its radome capabilities, CAC is a major supplier of composite structures and launch tubes for missile systems – including most recently for MBT LAW, a U.K. led programme for a shoulder launched fire and forget missile system, worth potentially in excess of £10m to CAC.

Cobham also said it has reached agreement with Dragerwerk to acquire its subsidiary company, Drager Aerospace, subject to regulatory and other approvals. The agreed consideration is €28.4m payable in cash of which €3m is deferred for three years. Drager Aerospace is located in Lubeck, Germany and produces a range of oxygen components and systems for civil and military aircraft, the company said.

In 2002 it is expected to have sales of EUR26 million. Its technology covers gaseous, liquid and mechanical oxygen systems together with on board generated oxygen capability.

Cobham also said Tuesday that Flight Refuelling’s FR-HiTemp division has been selected by Boeing Commercial Airplane Group to provide fuel pumps and housings as a standard option for future B747-400 production aircraft.

The new pumps incorporate features which anticipate future regulatory requirements and initial production units will be available, after flight certification, by July 2003.

The new pump is being offered to all the major airlines as a replacement on existing B747 aircraft. FR-HiTemp is the current supplier of fuel pumps for the B777 aircraft and the full range of Airbus aircraft, the company said. FR-Hi Temp also received a contract potentially valued at over £10m from Saab Bofors Dynamics on the MBT LAW programme. FR-Hi Temp will produce the missile control surface package which includes the control fins and actuation.

Cobham said that F

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