QinetiQ Group PLC (LON;QIQ), the hi-tech weapons maker, expects to beat its own and market forecasts after a strong final quarter to the year to end-March.

“Full-year order intake has been strong, and subject to audit, we expect to deliver high teens percentage revenue growth and high single-digit percentage revenue growth on an organic basis,” it said in a statement.

Margins also improved over the first half of the year, Qinetiq added, leading to an underlying operating profit for the full year of at least £147mln (2020: £133.2mln).

Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) had been much better than expected, Qinetiq added, offsetting the modest Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact seen earlier in the year in Global Products, affecting the United States and Target Systems. 

Operating cash flow was also good and net cash at 31 March 2021 will be at least £150mln, the group said.

Gains on the sale of three businesses during the year will be partly offset by a goodwill impairment in the German business

In the longer term, Qinetiq said it is keeping its target of mid-single-digit percentage organic revenue growth over the next 5 years, to be boosted by acquisitions.

The target for operating margins is 12-13%, though they may be one percentage point lower in the short-term as the business mix changes, said the statement.

QinetiQ will announce its preliminary results on 20 May 2021.

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