Contracts help to lift FR result

FR Group, the aerospace and defence contractor, yesterday reported pre-tax profits slightly up from pounds 10.4m to pounds 11m. Shares rose 9p to 179p, writes Russell Hotten.

The company, 75 per cent of whose turnover is defence-related, has won long-term contracts to convert RAF transport planes into fuel tankers. FR is also doing increasing work on unmanned surveillance aircraft.

There was some cost-cutting, but the company said current trading is running at the same levels as last year. Its Hymatic Engineering division is on the verge of winning orders for advanced environmental control systems from the Swedish military.

The interim dividend is 2.46p (2.34p). Ewan Fraser, analyst at James Capel, forecasts full-year profits of about pounds 23m, giving earnings of 21p. He predicts a dividend of 7.03p for the year.

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