The aerospace, defence and energy components group also saw a 15% drop in free cash flow partly driven by growth in inventory and Brexit contingency.
Tony Wood, chief executive, said: “Together with our growing installed base of 71,000 aircraft, we are well positioned to sustain growth over the medium term and to deliver our 2021 targets for underlying operating margin and cash."
In 2018, statutory operating profit dropped 6% to £256.6mln with earnings per share dropping 39% to 23.2p.
Cash generated dropped 15% to £167.4mln as a result of an incremental £30.4m contribution to reduce US pension deficits and an increased working capital outflow of £30.1m (2017: £3.0m inflow).
The working capital outflow reflected £37.5m to support growth, site consolidations and stockpiling as a Brexit contingency.
Underlying profit increased 4% to £367mln and organic revenue growth by 9% to £2.08bn, with 7% growth in civil aerospace, 10% in defence and 19% in energy.
During the year Meggitt won orders for engine composites on the Pratt & Whitney F-135 and F-119 engines and brakes on the Airbus A321neo.
The board is recommending a final dividend of 11.35p giving a full year dividend of 16.65p, an increase of 5%.
FTSE 250-listed Meggitt saw its shares drop 0.85% to 560p in morning trading.