Babcock confident on long-term outlook after profit jump

British engineering and support services company posts 32% rise in full-year profit

British engineering and support services company Babcock expressed confidence in its long-term prospects after posting a 32 per cent rise in full-year pretax profit, driven by new contracts and strong demand in its existing businesses.

Chief executive Peter Rogers said he expects organic growth - excluding acquisitions - of about 10 per cent in the coming year after pretax profit rose to £417.7 million for the year to March 31st.

“It’s what we expected. And it’s what was forecast. For us, it’s very straightforward. It’s retaining the contracts we’ve got, delivering so that the contracts keep on growing, and winning new ones,” Mr Rogers said on Monday. “I can’t call it 12 months ahead quite that closely, but you know we’d be looking for 10 per cent again this year.”

The 124-year-old company reported full-year revenue of £4.5 billion with an order book at a new high of 20 billion pounds. It also raised the final dividend by 10 percent to 23.6 pence per share. Shares in the company were up 1.4 per cent at £10.96 at 0918 GMT, against a FTSE 100 index up 0.4 per cent.


Babcock, which obtains 45 percent of its revenue from contracts with Britain’s Ministry of Defence, said that its bid pipeline stood at £10.5 billion.

Mr Rogers (67) intends to retire within the next couple of years but first wants to continue the company's overseas expansion, building on last year's acquisition of helicopter transport company Avincis.

"Clearly we are focusing on growing our business outside the UK," Mr Rogers said. "Continental Europe, Australia, Canada. More in Africa. I think Mozambique could be a serious-sized business within five years."