Defence, security, transport and energy electronics company Ultra Electronics said pre-tax profit, on IFRS basis, slumped nearly 40 per cent as overall uncertainty and delays in the US defence market hit orders.
IFRS pre-tax profit fell 38.2% to £49.3m for the year ended December 31st on revenues that slipped 2.1% to £745.2m. The total order book fell 13.7% year-on-year to £781.2m in what it described as a "sustained performance despite challenging US defence market conditions".
Underlying earnings per share increased to 127.1p compared to 125.5p last year.
Chief Executive Rakesh Sharma commented: "In the US defence market, overall uncertainty and delays rather than budget constraints impacted order placement and payment approvals. In response to these factors Ultra continued to reduce business costs, whilst maintaining its investment internally and in acquisitions.
"There continue to be a number of larger opportunities for growth alongside the regular flow of smaller orders and we have a healthy acquisition pipeline, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of 3 Phoenix."
Looking ahead to 2014, the group said its non-defence sectors are expected to remain positive. The US defence markets will continue to provide challenges but it expects improving certainty and order placement in its niche areas during the second half of the year.
Ultra said there continues to be a number of larger opportunities for growth alongside the regular flow of smaller orders and it has a healthy acquisition pipeline.
Underlining its confidence in future trading, the group has increased its dividend 5.5% to 42.2p per share.
Insurance firm Amlin achieved a 23.3% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £325.7m, supported by growth in premiums and lower catastrophe activity.
Gross written premium rose 2.6% to £2.46bn in the year through December 2013 and the claims ratio dropped to 52% from 57% the previous year.
Major catastrophe losses dropped to £18.5m last year from £152.3m in 2012, as the only notable large disaster in 2013 was the European flooding in May and June.
However, there was a relatively high frequency of smaller catastrophe and large risk losses in the year, totalling £62m and £76m respectively (2012: £26.2m and £3.2m respectively).
Return on equity (ROE) increased to 19.8% from 17.4%, exceeding the cross-cycle target of at least 15%.
Underwriting generated a combined ratio of 86% for the year, contributing a profit of £283.1m, compared to a respective 89% and £207.1m the prior year.
The group raised its dividend by 8.3% to 26p per share.
Chief Executive, Charles Philipps, said: "Our 2013 result is a testament to the strength of our talent and reinforces our capability and potential. With a number of businesses improving their performance, and our actions to drive profitability forward, we are well placed to continue to deliver good returns for shareholders."