Manufacturer hints at further acquisitions for 2005

Meggitt may make further acquisitions in 2005 following last year's purchase of Dunlop Aerospace, which has boosted growth in its aerospace division.

Chief executive Terry Twigger says that, given the UK group's record of acquisitions in the past, "it is reasonable to expect some deals in 2005". Meggitt has favourable borrowing facilities and £50-100 million ($95-$192 million) could be made available for an acquisition, he says, adding that the company will not rush into any deal.

Meggitt posted a 19% increase in group turnover to £479 million in 2004. Aerospace division turnover rose to £339 million, up 23% from 2003.

If the results were calculated at a constant exchange rate the increase would be 32%, the manufacturer says.

Defence turnover also received a boost from acquisitions completed in 2003. The division ended 2004 with turnover 33% higher than in 2003, at £68.9 million.

The company as a whole has suffered the effects of the weak dollar both through transactions – deals agreed in US dollars on products manufactured in Europe – and in translation – where the revenues of its North American businesses are converted into sterling to be reported.

Over the last two years it has had to generate an extra £18 million profit to counter the adverse exchange rate effects. This year its first £7 million of profit will be needed to cover the effects of currency exposure, Twigger says.


Source: Flight International