"Hopes that Babcock International would retain its final dividend following apparently positive comments two months ago have been dashed as the company reported losses of £178 million in its delayed full-year results.
News that the 7.2p interim dividend is all shareholders will be getting — it was a total of 30p last year — and reports on the depth of the woes in its oil and gas
helicopter business sent shares down 31½p or 7.7 per cent to 376½p. They have almost halved from the 650p they were trading at before the pandemic struck.
Its financial results have been weighed down by another of its marquee acquisitions, Avincis, the Bond Aviation helicopter business.
Its accounts carry £502 million of exceptional items including £395 million in write-offs in the value of the helicopter operations, which stretch from ferrying North Sea oil and gas workers to search and rescue. It also took charges in its nuclear engineering business after the end of its Magnox plant decommissioning contracts.
“Babcock’s numbers and statements are a mixture of good in parts and not in others,” Stephen Rawlinson, an independent industry analyst, said. “As ever with Babcock there is much going on and the company is not the best at making things transparent.”
Andrew Brooke, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said: “Nothing incrementally positive to get excited about with results messy and cashflow poor.”