VT announces refocus

Southampton-based defence and support services company, VT Group, has announced that it will pull out from its shipbuilding division in order to focus on its Services Business.

The company announced that it would withdraw its 45 per cent stake in BVT Surface Fleet, a joint venture with BAE Systems, for a minimum exit price of £380m, subject to approval by its shareholders.

VT and BAE merged their shipbuilding businesses last July. The deal allowed VT to exercise its option to sell shares from July this year.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has given the go-ahead to the option in order for VT Group to further expand its Services Business later this year.

The BVT board is in the process of finalising its review of export contracts, which is likely to give rise to non-recurring loss provision. VT currently estimates the loss to be around £50m.

VT’s other operations are currently in line with expectations with VT Education and Skills (VTE&S) expanding its portfolio in automotive training after receiving a contract to provide training to UK-based BMW employees.

VT Support Services, VT Communications, VT Flagship and VT Nuclear Services are also performing well following significant contract wins and expansion programmes.

VT’s chief executive, Paul Lester, said: ‘Our Services businesses continue to show good growth and to perform in line with our expectations for the full year. Our exit from BVT Surface Fleet later this year will enable us to refocus exclusively on expanding our core engineering-based support services offerings.’