LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Engineering support services firm Babcock posted a 16 percent rise in full-year profit, driven by extensive outsourcing in government defence, and gave a confident outlook for 2014.
The FTSE 100 firm, which maintains British navy submarines, on Tuesday reported a 2012 pretax profit of 317.8 million pounds ($487.62 million) on revenue of 3.2 billion.
Profit was ahead of an analyst forecast of 302 million pounds in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.
Babcock also increased the final dividend to 20 pence per share, meaning its total dividend for 2013 is up 16 percent on 2012.
It said that the outlook in its marine and technology division, the group's largest by profit which involves complex engineering support work for the British, Australian and Canadian governments, was 'extremely secure'.
Babcock gets just over half of its revenue from Britain's Ministry of Defence, which faces a real terms cut of around 8 percent in its budget between 2011/12 and 2014/15, one of the largest of the central government departments.
This is a cornerstone of many analysts' investment case in the firm.
Babcock's bid pipeline and order book stood at 15.5 billion pounds and 12 billion respectively, unchanged from the time of its last statement in April.
Shares in Babcock hit a record high in March and have slightly outperformed the FTSE 100 so far this year, up 12.79 percent compared to 12.4 percent.
($1 = 0.6517 British pounds)
(Reporting By Christine Murray; editing by Rhys Jones) Keywords: BABCOCK/RESULTS
(Christine.Murray@thomsonreuters.com)(0044-207-542-6468)(Reute rs Messaging: email@example.com)
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