Threefold increase and new orders put AIM on a high

AIM, the aircraft interiors designer and manufacturer, announced bumper first-half figures and a raft of new orders. Shares catapulted to a new high on the news prompting analysts to revise upwards their forecasts for the full year to April. In a strong `buy’ note, broker UBS has upgraded to a `conservative’ £6.3m pre-tax – a […]

AIM, the aircraft interiors designer and manufacturer, announced bumper first-half figures and a raft of new orders. Shares catapulted to a new high on the news prompting analysts to revise upwards their forecasts for the full year to April.

In a strong `buy’ note, broker UBS has upgraded to a `conservative’ £6.3m pre-tax – a 75% increase on the 1996 figure – and concedes it may have to upgrade again as orders head for new records.

The broker, which also looks for a 45% dividend increase, rates AIM `one of the purest plays on the civil aerospace cycle in the UK’. More than 90% of sales are in civil transport and helicopter markets.

Reporting first half profits up threefold at £2.8m, on sales up 49% at £36m, Jeff Smith, chairman and chief executive, unveiled orders including £30m of Nimrod 2000 interiors and £6.5m of Boeing 747 cabin refurbishments for a European carrier – its first wide-body order.

AIM’s Northwest Airlines DC9 refurbishment contract has been extended to another 27 aircraft, making a total 178.

UBS looks for £6.8m pre-tax for next year and £7.5m the year after, with 1p added annually to this year’s estimated 8p dividend.