Morgan Crucible profit falls on weak sales at engineered materials unit

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Advanced materials group Morgan Crucible Co Plc said full-year underlying profit fell 25 percent due to the weak performance of its engineered materials division, but said overall order intake levels stabilised in the last few months.

The company, which provides carbon technology services to the aerospace and space exploration industries, reported an underlying pretax profit of 89.7 million pounds ($139.44 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, down from 119.7 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue fell 8.5 percent to 1.01 billion pounds. Revenue at its engineered materials division fell 16.5 percent to 347 million pounds.

"Significant actions were taken in the second half of 2012 to align our cost base with the reduced demand levels, particularly in the engineered materials businesses," Chief Executive Officer Mark Robertshaw said in a statement.

The division makes carbon, silicon carbide, oxide-based ceramics and advanced polymeric composites, which are used in industrial and rail transportation, fluid handling, power generation and armour systems for personnel and vehicle protection.

The deterioration in performance in the company's advanced materials and technology unit - a part of the engineered materials business - was mainly due to a significant softening in demand for renewables products in the solar and wind markets and U.S. body armour business, Morgan Crucible said.

Revenue in the company's ceramics division, which makes up about two-thirds of overall turnover, was 660.5 million pounds, down 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Shares in the company were down 2.13 percent at 290 pence at 0801 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. They have lost about 10 percent of their value in the past year.