British Maritime Technology (BMT), the research and technology consultancy, is looking to buy a design company and is planning to become Europe’s prime independent ship designer.
‘One thing we are clearly short of is a design portfolio. We would like a north European partner company,’ said chairman David Goodrich. He declined to name any possible targets.
Defence accounts for 55% of BMT’s sales and will continue to be important despite a series of acquisitions in the civilian sector, according to Goodrich. ‘There is a problem with having very little indigenous civilian shipbuilding in the UK,’ he said.
A source close to BMT said the firm was bidding with French defence company Thomson-CSF to build two new aircraft carriers for the UK and one for France.
In the year to September 1998 BMT made a gross profit of £3m on a turnover of £41m, up from £33m. The employee-owned firm’s 500-plus staff will share most of the profits.