Belfast Telegraph

Ultra’s shares hit as SFO launches corruption probe

The investigation relates to the electronics company’s business in Algeria.

The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into Ultra Electronics over suspected corruption in Algeria.

Ultra, which makes electronics for the defence sector, referred itself to the authorities, and said it was co-operating with the inquiry.

In a statement, the company said: “Given the stage of these matters, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of this matter may have on the group. The company will provide a further update as and when appropriate.”

Ultra’s subsidiaries, employees, and people associated with the business will also be involved in the probe.

The defence group does not have an office in Algeria, but does contract work in the country.

The SFO confirmed it is investigating Ultra, but said it could not provide any more information because the investigation is “live”.

Shares in Ultra were down by more than 8% on the news.

The news comes after Ultra’s shares were hit in March when the defence firm’s tie-up with America’s Sparton was torpedoed by competition concerns.

The two firms killed the deal following fears raised by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The disappointment was compounded by lacklustre annual results from Ultra, with underlying pre-tax profits sinking 8% to £110 million.

Revenues were also down 1% to £775.4 million at the Middlesex-based firm, despite its order intake climbing 16% to £901.4 million for the year ending in December 2017.

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