Shares in defence company Cobham were down in morning trading on the FTSE 100 after the group reported a slight rise in pre-tax profit in the half year ended 30 June.

In the period underlying pre-tax profit increased two per cent to £145 million, while basic profit before tax fell from £139 million in the same period last year to £97 million.

Total revenue rose five per cent in the period to £963 million, while the group said that it would be raising its interim dividend by 10 per cent to 1.628 pence per share.

Cobham said that order intake in the half year period increased five per cent to £937 million.

Andy Stevens, Chief Executive of Cobham, said, "We have delivered a resilient set of first half results, despite the ongoing fragility in some commercial markets and delays in the award of certain US defence and security contracts.

"Our strategy is to build leading, long term technology positions in high growth segments within defence and security and commercial markets which position us to grow faster than the overall market. To achieve this, we will focus on a number of key strategic objectives including continued technology investment and acquisitions, portfolio optimisation and operational performance.

"We expect organic revenue growth to increase in the second half, although the rate of improvement will be dependent on the release of delayed contracts. Our commercial markets remain hard to predict but are unlikely to improve significantly in 2010. Despite the uncertain trading background, the Board continues to expect the Group to make further underlying progress in the year, underpinned by the early benefits from the 'Excellence in Delivery' programme.

"Our long term positions in attractive markets, together with the delivery of our strategic objectives, reinforce the Board's confidence of continuing progress over the medium term and accordingly we have once again increased the interim dividend by 10%".

By 10:55 shares in Cobham were down 5.42 pence per share on the FTSE 100 to 227.00 pence per share.