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Cohort hails "record" year as profit, revenue and payout all rise

19th Jul 2023 10:07

(Alliance News) - Cohort PLC celebrated a "record" performance, surpassing expectations in its recently-ended financial year, and it reaffirmed guidance while anticipating further progress in the years to come.

The Reading, England-based defence and security technology firm said its pretax profit increased 36% to GBP13.9 million in the year ended April 30 from GBP10.2 million the previous year. Basic earnings per share increased 24% to 27.92 pence from 22.55p.

In London, shares in Cohort shot up 9.1% to 486.00p on Wednesday morning.

Cohort said revenue was up 33% to GBP182.7 million in financial 2023 from GBP137.8 million the prior year. It reported a "strong" order intake of GBP220.9 million, up from GBP186.4 million in financial 2022. This led to a "record" GBP329.1 million closing order book, climbing from GBP291.0 million.

Order intake for the Communications & Intelligence division increased 22% to GBP94.5 million from GBP77.3 million, with the "especially strong performance" mainly driven by business with the UK Ministry of Defence. In Sensors & Effectors, the order intake increased 16% to GBP126.4 million from GBP109.1 million.

"This was a record performance for Cohort, which came in slightly above market expectations, with robust cash generation and a record closing order book giving us strong revenue cover for the coming financial year," proclaimed Chair Nick Prest. "Our order book is not only growing in value, but its longevity continues to increase and we now have orders across the group stretching out to 2032.

"We have good prospects to secure further long-term orders for our naval systems and support work, including from the UK MOD, Portugal and in export markets," Prest added.

Cohort declared a final dividend of 9.15p per share, up 10% from 8.35p. This brought the total dividend to 13.40p per share, also up 10% from 12.20p. Cohort said its payouts have consistently increased every year since its initial public offering in 2006.

Cohort reported an "encouraging" performance so far in the current financial year, and said it still expects its trading performance to surpass that achieved in financial 2023.

Prest added: "We are optimistic that the group will make further progress in the medium to longer term, based on current orders for long-term delivery, our continued investment in the businesses and on our pipeline of opportunities."

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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