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UK's Senior plans to resume dividend in 2022 after smaller loss

By Yadarisa Shabong

(Reuters) -British jet and auto parts supplier Senior Plc expects to resume dividend payouts this year after reporting a smaller annual loss on Monday and as it anticipates a recovery in the market for narrow-body aircraft.

Senior, a supplier to Boeing and Airbus, expects higher production of single-aisle or narrow-body jets this year as a recovery in air travel for long-haul routes, which use wide-body jets, takes longer than expected.

The British engineering firm, which sources some titanium from Russia, said it did not expect any major impact on supply from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has prompted Western nations to impose severe sanctions on Russia.

"We've got all our supply lines secured for this year, so its not a major concern in terms of customers and suppliers," Chief Executive David Squires said in an interview. "But obviously, the broader consequences, we'll need to see what happens there."

Senior bought about 500,000 pounds ($668,200) worth of titanium from Russia last year, Squires said, adding the country accounted for only 0.3% of 2021 sales.

Senior supplies cabin air circulation systems for Irkut's MC-21 narrow-body jet. Irkut's parent firm United Aircraft Corporation is majority owned by Rostec, Russia's state aerospace and defence conglomerate.

The conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia were unlikely to impact demand for the Airbus A320 and the Boeing's 737 MAX, Squires said.

The London-listed company reported an adjusted pretax loss of 1.9 million pounds ($2.5 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 6.2 million pounds a year ago, largely as it reined in costs.

Senior, which posted free cash flow of 14 million pounds and reduced its net debt to 153.1 million pounds, said it could be looking at bolt-on acquisitions this year.

($1 = 0.7483 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V, Kirsten Donovan)