BBA engineers strong growth rate

BBA, the engineering group, is expecting growth to accelerate in the coming year as the benefits of heavy investment and acquisitions feed through.

Roberto Quarta, chief executive, expects BBA to report organic revenue growth of 6 per cent in 1999, compared to a rate of about 5 per cent last year. He expects the non-woven fabrics division, which supplies the material used in sanitary towels and babies' nappies, to lead the way with growth of 7 per cent. The aviation unit, which services corporate jets and small aircraft, is likely to expand by 6 per cent.

This upbeat outlook follows a year in which BBA shrugged off the Asia crisis and worldwide economic slowdown to report a 7 per cent jump in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 165.1m. "In the light of general economic conditions it's a solid performance," said Mr Quarta.

BBA again improved its operating margins from continuing operations by almost a full point to 14.6 per cent. Operating cash flow was strong at more than pounds 200m, helping to fund a 60 per cent increase in capital spending to pounds 109.9m.

BBA is targeting expansion into new markets. On Monday it announced a pounds 31m investment to build a factory in China to supply absorbent materials for sanitary towels. The friction materials division - mainly producing brake pads - is building US share while shifting from the competitive business of supplying manufacturers to the more lucrative aftermarket.

Mr Quarta said the current year would be used to integrate acquisitions and focus on capital spending. In the past year BBA spent pounds 338m on deals, most of them bolt-on buys for the aviation division. Mr Quarta said that with borrowings at around pounds 300m BBA could comfortably afford to spend another pounds 300m on acquisitions.

The market took the results in its stride, leaving BBA shares - which have risen by more than 70 per cent in the past six months - down just 4.5p at 442p. Analysts plan to leave profit forecasts unchanged at around pounds 179m. "In the long term they're a very solid buy. Management have a clear strategy and are very good at executing it," said Will Mackie, engineering analyst at Credit Lyonnais Laing. "But the shares are up with events."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower