Cobham throwing off cash as RAF project takes off

Defence technology group Cobham confirmed trading remained on track with strong cash conversion in the first quarter.

Defence technology group Cobham confirmed trading remained on track with strong cash conversion in the first quarter.

The aviation, defence electronics and mission equipment provider said its full year outlook remained unchanged after its trading performance in the first three months of the year had been in line with the board's expectations.

Cobham's powerful operating cash conversion rate in the first quarter allowed it to comfortably invest £24m in the UK Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft consortium. The company is part of a private sector consortium which will provide the Royal Air Force with air-to-air refuelling aircraft, and provide long-term service.

The balance sheet remains "conservatively geared", with a 6.0% rise in net debt to £382m at the end of March coming from the £39m currency impact.

Management confirmed that Chief Financial Officer Warren Tucker would be succeeded on May 1st by Simon Nicholls, currently Group Finance Director of engineering group and FTSE 250 peer Senior, while Non-Executive Director Marcus Beresford is to stand down at the annual general meeting, to be replaced by Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments.

Cobham's shares were up 1.8% at 246.90p at 9:00am.

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