Defence technology group Radstone boosts profits 74%

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The Independent Online

Radstone Technology, which designs technology for the defence sector, yesterday pointed to a rosy second half after profits rose 74 per cent in the first six months.

Jeff Perrin, the managing director, said the company remained confident of a "strong" performance from its main embedded computing business in the second half of the year.

The Towcester-based company designs and sells hard-wearing technology that is, for example, fitted in tanks. Customers include all the big names in the defence sector like Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Harris Corporation.

In the six months to 30 September, Radstone recorded a pre-tax profit of £1.2m, up from £675,000 in the same period a year before. Sales were more or less flat at £18.5m. The figures, however, benefited from the acquisition of Interactive Circuits and Systems - a Canadian technology firm that it bought at the beginning of September.

Excluding the one-month contribution from ICS, Radstone made a pre-tax profit of £696,000 on sales of £17.2m - a fall of 6 per cent from the year before, largely due to the weaker US dollar. Mr Perrin said a combination of factors, including the company's order book and trading at ICS, gave him confidence that Radstone would produce a solid performance this year.

"Our knowledge of the market and knowing what our customers' requirements are for the second half," Mr Perrin said, was one factor, while another was the performance of ICS.

"It [the performance of acquisitions] won't be that good every month but, right now, things are looking very positive for the rest of the year from our acquisition."

Radstone has £18.5m of orders that are scheduled for delivery in the second half of the year. It paid out a 0.75p dividend in the first half.

Analysts at Evolution Beeson Gregory, the company's broker, forecast Radstone will make a pre-tax profit of £7.1m this year on sales of £49.5m.