QinetiQ on the march after strong growth in new orders

"Our focus for the remainder of the year is to win further campaigns globally, successfully deliver key programmes, and complete the acquisition of MTEQ."

Soldiers plus dog
The previously announced acquisition MTEQ should transform the scale of QinetiQ's US operations

Shares in weapons designer QinetiQ Group PLC (LON:QQ.) rocketed to a 52-week high after a set of well-received interim results.

The shares were up 2.4% at 329.8p in early deals – a gain of 22% over the last 12 months – after the company reiterated expectations of high single-digit percentage revenue growth.

Revenue in the six months to the end of September rose to £486.5mln from £420.3mln the year before, while the total funded order backlog surged to £3.1bn from £1.9bn the year before.

Total orders received in the six month reporting period clocked in at £410.8mln, compared to £298.1mln a year earlier.

Underlying earnings (EBITDA) jumped to £93.4mln from £69.8mln in 2018, helped by a £13.3mln gain on the sale of property.

Profit before tax, excluding one-off items, improved to £71.3mln from the previous year’s £52.7mln.

Net cash at the end of September had dipped to £173.5mln from £220.8mln a year earlier.

The interim dividend was nudged up to 2.2p from 2.1p last year.

"Our strategy to drive value for our customers and shareholders continues to gather momentum. We delivered a strong first half result, with organic growth in orders, revenue and profit driven by a good performance across our businesses, both in the UK and internationally. We are maintaining expectations for full-year operating profit with high single-digit revenue growth,” revealed Steve Wadey, the group’s chief executive officer.

Quick facts: QinetiQ

Price: 310 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.77 billion

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