Vosper warship work comes second to support business

Vosper Thornycroft is now more dependent on its support services business than on warship building, according to interim results published on Tuesday. The support services business has a portfolio of 15 contracts worth more than £400m, which include Vosper’s first army training contract. Turnover for support services business during March-September 1998 was up 78% on […]

Vosper Thornycroft is now more dependent on its support services business than on warship building, according to interim results published on Tuesday.

The support services business has a portfolio of 15 contracts worth more than £400m, which include Vosper’s first army training contract.

Turnover for support services business during March-September 1998 was up 78% on the same period last year.

The shipbuilding order book is worth more than £200m, but this is only two years’ work for Vosper’s Woolston yard.

The Southampton-based defence group said that for the six months to the end of September, pre-tax profits increased 7% to £14.8m on turnover of £100.2m.

Orders rose to £653m, up a healthy £163m since March.

Vosper said: ‘The list of warship prospects at home and overseas is impressive. We have an excellent chance of winning new contracts.’

But there is still no sign of a promised £50m order for two patrol boats from Qatar because of oil price problems, a defence salesman in the region said. And a United Arab Emirates’ contract for ocean-capable patrol boats, expected to be awarded in spring, now looks less likely.