MS International tops £100m as defence budgets rise

Shares of Doncaster-based defence systems, fork arms and petrol station superstructures manufacturer MS International plc rose about 8% to £11.10 after it said its revenue rose 30% to £109.58 million in the year to April 30, 2024.

This was the first time in the firm’s history it exceeded £100 million in revenue. The company’s shares have risen about 80% over the past year.

MS International has four operating divisions — defence, forgings, petrol station superstructures and corporate branding.

The group reported a record pre-tax profit of £15.71 million, up from £5.08 million.

Total dividend for the year will rise to 19.5p per share (2023 – 15p).

The group’s order book was up 40% to a record £162 million at the year-end.

MS International chair Michael Bell said: “We live in an increasingly dangerous world and Governments are escalating defence budgets as a consequence.

“With this background and a strong and growing order book, we look forward with a good degree of confidence to a commendable outcome for the current year.

“Deliveries to the US Navy of the first production order contracts of our 30mm naval weapon systems commence in the first half of 2024/25.

“We will also be delivering additional 30mm naval weapon systems to shipbuilders in the USA for their US ‘Foreign Military Supply’ contracts.

“Of particular note will be our first supply of 30mm naval weapon systems to the German Navy. These, together with our 30mm naval weapon systems in service with the Royal Navy and those going to the US Navy, will make MSI the current primary supplier of small calibre naval weapon systems to three of the major ‘NATO’ navies.

“We await the tender documents from the US Navy with regard to their proposed five-year procurement programme of our MSI-DS 30mm naval weapon systems. We believe we are well placed to secure this ‘follow on’ order but do not expect it to be placed until after the end of our current financial year.

“A number of countries around the world continue to show considerable interest in our land-based mobile counter-drone weapon system, ‘Paladin’, previously known as V-SHORAD.

“The company has further developed this product, successfully demonstrating its capability to protect against the ever-increasing aerial threat from incoming drones. These developments will continue.

“Significant investment continues into both our product range and the Norwich production facility to increase capacity in line with the expanded order book.”

On the group’s defence and security division, Bell added: “International interest in both our naval and new land-based weapon systems remains most encouraging with an order intake during the year in excess of £100 million.

“Pleasingly, included in that figure, were new orders for six MSI-DS30mm naval weapon systems to be fitted to the first three Royal Navy fleet support vessels.

“When delivered, this will bring the latest upgraded version of the MSI-DS-30mm weapon system into the Royal Navy’s inventory which will significantly improve their 30mm weapon system capability.”