Result for Ricardo

New orders from the US military and commercial vehicle sectors boosted the fortunes of Ricardo, the Sussex-based automotive consultancy, in the second half of 2005.

Ricardo told investors that its robust North American performance helped to offset a continuing weak European market, particularly in Germany where it said all companies serving the major car manufacturers were experiencing problems.

There was, however, more encouraging news from the company’s UK business, where its Leamington Spa-based operation benefited from a major contract with Chinese automotive giant SAIC.

The company’s total order book was up by 9 per cent year-on-year at the end of November, reflecting the progress made in the US and in the key Asian markets of China, Japan and India. Ricardo’s strategic consulting division also performed well.