Leeds firm Filtronic takes flight with £7.8m space satellites contracts

Leeds-based specialist electronics manufacturer Filtronic has announced two contract wins worth £7.8m in the field of satellite communications as it seeks to create a device designed for space flight.

The firm, which designs and manufactures products for the aerospace, defence, space and telecoms infrastructure markets and was founded at the University of Leeds in 1977, said it had won two contracts with an unnamed leading global provider of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications equipment.

A production order contract, valued at $9.9m (£7.8m), is for additional demand of Filtronic's innovative Cerus32 solid state power amplifier (SSPA) module. It follows an initial £4.8m order by the same company for the SSPA modules announced in December.

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The modules will be installed at ground station locations as part of an earth station antenna network linked to the LEO satellites.

The contracts wins have been announced to the stock market. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)The contracts wins have been announced to the stock market. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The contracts wins have been announced to the stock market. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The second contract with the same customer is a development agreement to accelerate the design and prototype delivery of a module that would be attached to satellites.

The company said: “Subject to successful qualification testing and field trials this module will represent the first Filtronic product designed for space flight and is key part of our strategy to address the satellite element of the LEO space market.”

Richard Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the leading global provider of LEO satellite broadband services, and proud of the way we have scaled our operations to supply production volumes of the Cerus32 SSPA module for their ground station network.

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"The fact that the customer has also decided to fund Filtronic for their second-generation payload solution, due to be launched later this year, is a further testament to our credibility and expertise.”

The announcement came on the same morning that Filtronic announced half-year interim results for the six months up to November 30, 2023.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items stood at £0.2m, down from £1m in the same period the year before. But revenue increase slightly from £8.4m to £8.5m and the company said its revenue and profit figures for the full year are expected to be ahead of market expectations.

It highlighted recent contract wins outside of the half-year results period including the LEO satellite deals, as well as £4.5m agreement with BAE Maritime Systems and a £2m contract with QinetiQ.

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Chairman Jonathan Neale said: "We are encouraged by the recent successes we have had in the execution of our strategic plan and targeted growth initiatives. The impact of this is expected in H2 FY2024 as we expect revenue to be ahead of full year market expectations and profitability to be materially ahead. Our confidence stems from the recently announced contract wins with customers in LEO space, aerospace and defence markets which were particularly pleasing given both the quantity and value, as well as the significance and quality of the new customers added to our customer portfolio.”

Shares in the company were up 13 per cent in Tuesday morning trading.

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