Cuts are biting for BAE Systems as profits decline

FRIGATE Type 45 HMS Diamond, which was built by BAE Systems

FRIGATE Type 45 HMS Diamond, which was built by BAE Systems

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BAE Systems has reported a fall in profits, blamed in part on government spending cuts to its defence budget.

In line with its warning earlier this year that sales will be lower in 2011, BAE said revenues fell 13 per cent to £9.2bn in the six months to June 30.

Underlying earnings were 12 per cent lower at £968m after a charge of £160m to cover the cost of an offshore patrol vessel project.

The firm’s maritime arm, which employees 4,000 people across its ship-building and mission-systems division, has its base in Portsmouth.

It reported a number of highlights during the previous six months.

Andrew Davies, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: ‘We have a very clear strategic direction for our business.

‘In Portsmouth, our Type 45 contract is delivering availability of the Royal Navy’s newest warships, a new £46m contract to support the Sampson multi-function radar, and a six year extension to support HMS Clyde, are all helping to strengthen the long-term future of our support services operations.’

Nationally, share dividends in BAE Systems increased by 7.5 per cent, despite the profit drop.

Ian King, the company’s chief executive, said: ‘BAE Systems delivered a robust set of results in a challenging market environment.

‘The company is resilient and has performed well.

‘We continue to pursue the fast lanes of growth in the areas of military and technical services, cyber and intelligence and high-end electronics.

‘Our platform positions have been sustained and in addition we see growth in our home markets and from exports.’

The figures relate to the six months from January 1 to June 30.

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