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Defence firm Cobham warns on profits after 'challenging' third quarter

PUBLISHED: 09:27 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:49 24 October 2016

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II performs a fly past during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford - the world's largest military airshow. Picture date: Friday July 8, 2016.  Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II performs a fly past during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford - the world's largest military airshow. Picture date: Friday July 8, 2016. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

Struggling aerospace and defence firm Cobham has issued a profit warning after "challenging" trading in the third quarter.

It said full-year group trading profit, including currency impacts, will now come in between £255m and £275m after being dragged down by a lacklustre performance from its satcom and wireless business unit and its integrated electronic solutions arm.

But despite being “behind management’s expectations” in the third quarter, the firm expects trading to pick up in the fourth quarter from “increased volumes in a number of areas”.

“While good progress is being made in wireless by the new management team, this has been at a slower pace than expected, with some revenue deferral and additional costs incurred from increased resource requirements,” the company said.

“In integrated electronic solutions there have also been some additional costs and deferred revenue relating to the previously reported technical issues on a small number of space-related development programmes. However, these have largely been resolved in the third quarter.”

Cobham reported losses of £38m in August, which was preceded by a profit warning and an emergency £506.7m rights issue to reduce its debt pile.

The firm also parted company with chief executive Bob Murphy in the summer and replaced him with David Lockwood, currently boss of tech company Laird.

Mr Lockwood is set to join Cobham “no later” than January 1 next year.

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