TRL goes State-side

TRL Electronics has broken into the international market for electronic counter measures (ECM) equipment with its first US order.

TRL Electronics has broken into the international market for electronic counter measures (ECM) equipment with its first US order.

The defence electronics group, which specialises in surveillance, monitoring and counter measures in satellite and radio communications, said the growth of international terrorism and an increased focus on security has driven demand for products providing tactical situational awareness.

In the six months to 30 September, TRL’s turnover increased by 38 per cent to £14.1m, and operating profit was up 82 per cent to £2m. During this period, the company won its first US contract worth £4.5m for the supply of ECM products.

The agreement is with Argon ST, a prime contractor for the US government. The equipment will be used by the US Army and Marine Corps.

Deliveries of ECM equipment to other overseas customers and the MoD also increased.

TRL’s technology and innovation division, which supplies ECM technology, has seen strong growth. Its turnover is now £7.8m, a 160 per cent rise compared to the 2004 figure of £3m. The company has taken on 30 new staff to cope with the expansion. It also more than doubled its spending on R&D to £1.4m.

Of the £1.3m capital investment made by TRL during the period, £800,000 was for manufacturing and test equipment. As a result, the company has leased a new building near its existing sites in Tewkesbury.

Alongside the major MoD-funded development programmes currently being undertaken, the company also experienced a major expansion in the international market for communications intercept and force protection products.

During the period, funds have been invested in the development of a new Internet Protocol (IP) version of the company’s Catapan ATM electronic security system.

Approval for this product from the government is expected by the end of this month. As a result of its success, TRL expects that customer-funded development of other interoperable crypto products will continue to grow.

The company’s defence systems division has built up a steady business in tracking and border surveillance through the supply and installation of surveillance systems to the government.

However, it has increased its international marketing of such systems and has been pursuing contracts in Europe and the middle east.

TRL said the current high level of worldwide security spending would provide new opportunities for its products. ‘Global change has not only redefined the modern threat but also the markets in which the company operates,’ TRL told its shareholders.