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Major Telford employer Babcock sees revenues and profits rise

By James Pugh | Telford | Business | Published:

Engineering and defence contractor Babcock, which employs hundreds of people in Shropshire, has seen revenues and profits rise over the last year.

An armoured vehicle at DSG in Donnington

Chief executive Archie Bethel hailed the year as one of "further progress on all fronts".

In the year to 31 March 2018, Babcock turned over £4.66 billion, up from £4.55 billion in 2017.

Operating profits also rose to £370.1 million from £359.6 million, while pre-tax profits were up by eight per cent to £391.1 million.

Babcock owns the Defence Support Group operation at MoD Donnington in Telford, where it employs about 850 people working on Army vehicle contracts.

Highlights for Babcock over the last 12 months included the delivery of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to the Royal Navy, and the undocking of the second carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

The company also increased its international underlying revenues to 28 per cent of total, moving it closer towards its target of 30 per cent.

Mr Bethel said: "Underlying revenue and profits increased to record levels with excellent cash generation, and we further strengthened the balance sheet by reducing our net debt while increasing our dividend for the seventeenth consecutive year. We ended the year with an order book and bid pipeline worth £31 billion, which supports our future growth prospects.

"We have always been a specialist engineering services company with a strong UK heritage but the changes we have made in the last couple of years are beginning to deliver meaningful benefits. Our new sector structure is making a real difference, we are increasingly focused on our core business areas of defence, emergency services and civil nuclear, and are on track to exceed our target of having 30 per cent of the group's underlying revenue coming from international markets by 2022.

"We expect to make further progress this year and are confident about Babcock's longer-term prospects which are underpinned by our technical expertise, unique infrastructure and a sustainable business model which is increasingly relevant to our key customers in non-cyclical and highly regulated market."

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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