BAE optimistic about the forthcoming year

BAE chief executive Ian King
BAE chief executive Ian King

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BAE Systems says it is optimistic about the next 12 months and has predicted ‘competitive’ times in 2015.

The company has published its full-year results which highlight what it calls a ‘solid’ overall performance throughout 2014.

Figures show that sales have decreased almost nine per cent since 2013 – down to £16,637m from £18,180m – but profits have risen 61 per cent on the previous year – in 2014 they were £1,300m compared to £806m in 2013.

Chief executive Ian King said: ‘The company is now looking ahead as defence spending remains a high priority in a number of international markets. In the UK, we benefit from long-term contracts, notwithstanding continued pressure on public spending.’

The multinational defence, security and aerospace company has continued to win significant new business with over £10bn of new orders from the UK and US for the third successive year.

Mr King said: ‘As a result, the large order backlog of £40.5bn continues to provide good, multi-year visibility across many of our businesses.’

Last year, a major milestone was achieved with naming and float-up of HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier the business has been awarded over £1bn of Royal Navy contracts.

John Hudson, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: ‘This was a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.

According to BAE, the team in Portsmouth is now focused on preparing for HMS Queen Elizabeth arrival in 2017, with a significant investment already underway across the naval base.

‘Our long-term commitment to Portsmouth as the hub of our Maritime Services activity and partner to the Royal Navy was reinforced with significant contract wins for the management of the naval base and continued support to the surface fleet,’ said Mr Hudson.

This includes the Type 45 destroyers and the contract to upgrade the Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo. The £600m contract to manage the naval base and support global Royal Navy operations runs until 2019.