QinetiQ cuts 400 jobs

LONDON (Reuters) - Defence technology company QinetiQ Group posted full-year operating profit ahead of expectations and raised its dividend 11.8 percent Thursday, but also said it would cut 400 jobs.

QinetiQ, a former arm of the government, said operating profit rose 22 percent to 155 million pounds in the year to end-March, against analyst forecasts of 150 million, according to Reuters estimates.

The dividend was hiked 11.8 percent to 4.75 pence.

QinetiQ, which upgrades helicopters as well as testing weapons systems, said its raised dividend showed its confidence in future growth, adding it saw budget cutbacks at Britain's Ministry of Defence and would axe 400 workers.

Thousands of staff were balloting for strike action this week over a pay freeze at the company..

QinetiQ shares, down 9 percent this year, closed on Wednesday at 143.5 pence, valuing the business at 956 million pounds.

(Reporting by John Bowker; Editing by Dan Lalor)

Article Published: 21/05/2009