Cohort Seeks Defense Purchases as Profit Surge Spurs Expansion

Cohort Plc, which provides communications systems for Britain’s Astute attack submarines, said it’s ready to pursue purchases after a rebound in profit.

“We see real opportunities for acquisitions,” Andy Thomis, chief executive officer of Theale, England-based Cohort, said in a phone interview. “We’ve been very much focused on operational improvements, but our focus is moving to driving growth.”

Cohort stock was trading 9.5 percent higher at 150.50 pence as of 1:05 p.m. in London, the biggest gain since June 15 last year, after the company said operating profit jumped 13 percent to 7.3 million pound in the 12 months ended April 30. Net cash stood at 16.4 million pounds at the year’s end, up 16 percent.

Middle East sales of the Typhoon combat aircraft, built by BAE Systems Plc, Finmeccanica SpA and European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., could boost the share of revenue generated by exports beyond last year’s 10 percent, with Cohort chasing other “good opportunities” for overseas deals, Thomis said.

Overall order intake also should be stronger this year, aided by an increase in space activities as Britain increases contributions to the European Space Agency after two years of “disappointment” in that sector, he said.

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