BAE Systems announces 'robust' year despite Covid-19 pandemic

BAE Systems staff working while social distancing. Photo: BAE Systems/Julian HickmanBAE Systems staff working while social distancing. Photo: BAE Systems/Julian Hickman
BAE Systems staff working while social distancing. Photo: BAE Systems/Julian Hickman
A DEFENCE firm is celebrating its achievements for the first half of the year despite having to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Securing an autonomous sea boat contract, extending a current naval base support deal and getting good performance on £230m torpedo contract are just some of the feats BAE Systems has achieved in the first six months of 2020, it has reported.

The firm, which employs approximately 3,400 people in the Solent area across its maritime sector, also brought in higher revenue in the last six months compared to the same time last year.

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In the six months ending on June 30, 2019, BAE Systems revenue stood at £8,674m but this year saw the business bring in £9,180m.

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Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: ‘We have delivered a robust performance in the first half of the year, thanks to the efforts of all of our employees.

‘We started the year from a strong position and we have taken actions to enhance our resilience, ensuring we continued to deliver against our customer priorities, whilst keeping our employees safe.

‘Assuming no significant Covid-19 resurgence, we expect a good second half to the year. Demand for our capabilities remains high and we recognise our role not only in supporting national security, but also in contributing to the economies of the countries in which we operate.’

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The firm, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of HM Naval Base Portsmouth and supports the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based surface fleet, including the Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, Type 23 frigates and Hunt Class mine countermeasure vessels, worked with employees and trade unions to change working practices to help employees who needed to work on site.

Measures put in place include the reconfiguration of offices and workshops to support social distancing, additional hand washing and hygiene facilities, enhanced cleaning regimes and, where appropriate, the use of additional personal protective equipment.

Since lockdown, the business has returned 12 Royal Navy warships to sea, under challenging Covid-19 conditions, as part of their scheduled maintenance and upkeep programmes.

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