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Ricardo First-Half Profit Climbs On Increase in Orders

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Ricardo Plc, a U.K. developer of fuel-efficient engines for automakers, said first-half profit rose 53 percent after it won more orders, including a contract with the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence.

Net income in the six months to Dec. 31 rose to 4.6 million pounds ($7.5 million), or 9.3 pence a share, from 3 million pounds, or 6.2 pence a share a year earlier, the West Sussex, England-based company said in a statement today. Sales climbed 11 percent to 90.2 million pounds.

Ricardo, which adapts Land Rovers for military operations, won a 13 million-pound deal with the defence ministry to supply 200 vehicles, which can be used in mine-blast operations, Chief Executive Officer David Shemmans said by phone today. Total orders rose 16 percent to 117 million pounds for the period.

“On defense, companies like us are viewing the situation in the Middle East with interest as we can see the domino effect of instability in the region,” Shemmans said, “We also see the return of passenger cars as car companies are driven by legislation and product development.”

About 36 percent of Ricardo’s business comes from passenger cars, 26 percent from defense and 23 percent from commercial vehicles, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Lawrence in London at rlawrence7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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