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Pennant International off to encouraging start

The contracted order book, valued at more than £34mln, underpins good forward visibility of revenues well into 2020
New capital equipment platforms for land, naval, air and rail are becoming more sophisticated and complex thereby increasing the requirement for training

Training simulations developer Pennant International Group PLC (LON:PEN) pulled out the stops in the final quarter to mitigate the effects of a delayed contract.

As announced in September 2017, the performance of one of the group's contracts with a major UK prime contractor for electro-mechanical trainers and courseware had been delayed due to a re-scoping of the contract requirements.

READ: Pennant International swings to full year profit after strong second half

The re-scoping has now been completed and work re-commenced on the contract.

Despite the delay on this contract, the group managed to marginally exceed market expectations for revenue for 2017; group revenues rose to £18.1mln from £17.2mln the year before.

Underlying earnings (EBITDA) eased to £2.11mln from £2.2mln the previous year while underlying profit before tax edged up to £1.93mln from £1.90mln in 2016.

The debt-free company had net cash of £1.5mln at the end of 2017, down from £3.52mln at the end of 2016.

No dividend has been proposed; the company’s dividend policy remains under review.

The three-year order book value stood at £34mln at the end of the year, versus £38mln at the end of 2016.

The group said its head of finance, Gary Barnes, has been appointed as finance director. John Ponsonby, a former managing director of Leonardo Helicopters UK (a division of AgustaWestland) has also been appointed to the board as a non-executive director.

"Prospects for the global economy in 2018 remain uncertain, and there are budgetary pressures in certain defence markets; however, Pennant is nimble, agile and responsive and so is well placed to maximise opportunities as the economic situation develops,” declared Simon Moore, the chairman of Pennant.

“We are experiencing an encouraging start to the current financial year and anticipate that the full year results for 2018 will be first-half weighted owing to the adoption of IFRS 15,” Moore explained.

“Prospects remain positive. The contracted order book, valued at more than £34mln, underpins good forward visibility of revenues well into 2020. In addition, the pipeline of active bids and other opportunities remains healthy," Moore added.

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