Slowdown ahead, warns Meggitt

Aircraft instrumentation developer Meggitt last week became the latest aerospace engineer to point to a likely slowdown in demand from major civil aircraft manufacturers later this year. Meggitt’s product range includes emergency instrumentation used in large civil aircraft. The company said that while work for Boeing would ease off, it still expects to do well […]

Aircraft instrumentation developer Meggitt last week became the latest aerospace engineer to point to a likely slowdown in demand from major civil aircraft manufacturers later this year.

Meggitt’s product range includes emergency instrumentation used in large civil aircraft.

The company said that while work for Boeing would ease off, it still expects to do well in the military aircraft sector and will continue its lucrative work for small jet makers.

Boeing cancelled a contract for Meggitt’s secondary flight display system (SFDS) during the year after a third-party supplier providing display glass went into administration.

However, chief executive Mike Stacey said Meggitt Avionics had won new contracts with other major aircraft makers over 600 SFDS systems have been delivered to date.

Stacey was speaking after unveiling record profits of £36.2m before goodwill amortisation. Turnover was up 11% to £293.9m.

New acquisitions figured prominently in the results, contributing £13m of the group’s turnover and £1.3m of operating profit.

The group spent about £60m last year on acquisitions including Vibro-Meter, which develops vibration monitoring equipment for aircraft. It now forms part of the electronics division, where profits climbed 35% to £16.2m. Stacey said more acquisitions are planned for the current year.

Meggitt Defence Systems also benefited from an acquisition, with turnover up 18% after it bought missile decoys business Hayes Targets in February last year.

The one underperformer last year was the industrial controls business, where turnover fell from £48.9m to £38.6m. Profits fell from £3.1m to £2.4m, reflecting a reorganisation programme at subsidiary Mobrey.

This cost £2.9m and saw three sites merged into one in Slough, with the loss of about 200 jobs.