Aerospace and defence business Cobham (COB) swings into a first half loss as a result of one-off costs.

The company is trading 1.5% lower at 165.4p, paring earlier heavier falls, after posting a statutory pre-tax loss of £38 million, compared to a £4 million pre-tax profit in 2015.

Cobham, a Play of the Week, says this reflects performance issues in the first quarter and more headwinds in aviation services.

Total group revenue falls from £1.05 billion last year to £917 million, driven by divestments and generally weaker trading.

However, recent trading has been supported by a 28% increase in like-for-like order intake, boosted by a significant contract extension with Qantas to continue operations across Australia until 20126.

Edison Investment Research notes trading has improved significantly in the second quarter, despite profit dropping sharply for the half as a whole.

It believes 2017 will provide an opportunity to refresh organic growth as the defence and security markets improve.

Cobham has cut the interim dividend to 2.03p and expects the total dividend to be approximately 7.4p per share.

CEO Bob Murphy says: ‘We have won a number of key contract awards in the first half and notably every one of the sectors has a stronger order book than a year ago.’


Issue Date: 04 Aug 2016