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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
Profit up at defence firm Qinetiq
Qinetiq at Portsdown Hill near Portsmouth
Qinetiq now must compete for government contracts
Qinetiq, the defence firm floated by the UK government, has reported pre-tax profits up 37.6% to 80.1m ($149m) in its first results since the listing.

Turnover at the company increased by 23% to 1.05bn.

Sales have soared in North America with heightened security raising demand for products such as airport scanning and border control devices

Other products include military sensors and software, banking security systems and desert kits for helicopters.

Competition

Qinetiq said that tight budgets on both sides of the Atlantic meant it would have to invest in technology and rationalise to fulfil its potential.

The firm was previously guaranteed government work, but now must compete against rivals for lucrative UK contracts.

The company - which employs more than 11,400 people - has clients ranging from the Pentagon to jet engine firm Rolls-Royce and credit card company Barclaycard.

Qinetiq's flotation in February this year, the first by this Labour government, attracted criticism because of the amount of money that US investor Carlyle Group made from the privatisation.

But ministers defended the listing, saying taxpayers were getting value for money.

The company's shares were launched at 200 pence each, but have recently been trading at about the 175p mark.

They have been underperforming the UK aerospace and defence sector by around 11 percent.


SEE ALSO
Market debut for Qinetiq shares
10 Feb 06 |  Business
Reid defends Qinetiq's sale price
27 Jan 06 |  Business
Qinetiq names float price range
25 Jan 06 |  Business
Government 'to sell off Qinetiq'
08 Jan 06 |  Business
Qinetiq's new battle
30 Apr 02 |  Business

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