INCREASED overseas projects and a lucrative contract with a sports car manufacturer has led to an engineering firm posting a record order book in its latest trading figures.
Shoreham-based Ricardo posted strong interim results for the six-month period, up until December 31, which were released last week.
Its order book was up 18 per cent to £143million, with pre-tax profits up 29 per cent to £9.3million.
Ricardo chief executive Dave Shemmans said: “Ricardo has continued to secure good levels of new business, with the period end order book at a record level of £143million, well diversified across geographies and market sectors.
“We have increasing levels of business from Asia and Europe and the market sectors of rail, motorcycles and power generation continue to expand.”
Mr Shemmans said a highlight of the period was the long-term agreement with McLaren, for the provision of engines.
He added: “The long-term nature of this agreement underscores the effectiveness of our working relationship with McLaren and provides an exciting opportunity to deliver innovative new products.
“In addition, it is pleasing to note that Ricardo-AEA, which was acquired in the previous financial year, has now been fully integrated and is performing well.”
The performance bodes well for shareholders, with basic earnings per share up 28 per cent to 14.6p and interim dividend up eight per cent to 4.3p per share.
Mr Shemmans said: “With the record order book well balanced across both technical consulting and performance products and an encouraging order pipeline, we remain confident of further progress in the future.”