Meggitt Soars on Profitable Full-Year Results

LONDON -- Shares of Meggitt  (LSE: MGGT  ) jumped up 15.90 pence, or 3.5%, this morning following the release of its full-year results for 2012 that saw "another year of very strong cash generation."

The global engineering group -- which specializes in equipment for aerospace, defense, and energy markets -- reported a 10% rise in revenue to reach 1.61 billion pounds against 1.46 billion pounds the previous year. The breakdown was +7% civil, +45% energy, and +7% military.

Underlying pre-tax profit increased 12%, soaring to 362.8 million pounds compared to 323 million pounds in 2011, while the order intake was 1.64 billion pounds, giving a book-to-bill ratio of greater than one, "underpinning confidence in continuing future revenue growth." Net debt was reduced by 19% to stand at 642.5 million pounds.

The Pacific Scientific Aerospace (PacSci) acquisition continues to trade in line with expectations, with annual run-rate synergies currently ahead of expectations at $20 million. The company now expects a run rate of $25 million by 2014, almost 40% above the original plan.

Meggitt's outgoing chief executive, Terry Twigger, commented:

Our business grew strongly in 2012, with revenues up 10% and underlying earnings per share up 13%. PacSci is trading well and we are raising our synergy target again. Our operational improvement initiative is off to an excellent start. We look forward to further good growth in 2013 and beyond.

I recently announced my intention to step down from the Board at the AGM in May 2013, ahead of my retirement in June, after over 12 years as CEO. During this time I have seen the Group grow from revenues of under £400 million to £1.6 billion and EPS and market capitalization grow at 10% per annum and 15% per annum compound respectively. I am very proud of what the team has achieved at Meggitt and am confident this track record will continue under my successor, Stephen Young.

Meggitt confirmed that it continues to expect organic revenue growth of 6% to 7% on average over the medium term, with mid-single-digit growth in 2013. Shareholders will be encouraged by the 13% leap in underlying earnings per share, rising to 36.2 pence against 2011's 31.9 pence. Today's results also announced a 12% increase in Meggitt's final dividend, now up to 11.80 pence.

Today's share price of 475 pence is a five-high for the company, and investors who bought in at 2009's low point of 113 pence would now be sitting on a fourfold return! The growth has been gradual but consistent over the last few years, but if you're looking for a growth share in the FTSE 100, then you could do worse than to read our latest special free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share for 2013." 

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