Orders are up but profits fall at BAE

SPEAKING OUT Andrew Davies
SPEAKING OUT Andrew Davies
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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BAE SYSTEMS has reported an order book that is swelling for the first time since 2009, according to its half-year results, published yesterday.

The group said its order book grew by £900m to £40bn, driven by a £4.3bn increase in demand from outside the UK and the United States.

But the results also showed its profits have fallen slightly to £478m from the £500m from the same period last year.

In Portsmouth, BAE Systems’ Maritime arm highlighted the work it has been doing on the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, as well as its work in building ships for navies around the world.

BAE Systems is reviewing its bases in the UK, leading to a threat that the firm’s shipbuilding business at Portsmouth’s own naval base could close.

No mention was made of the review in any of the financial statements and presentations released yesterday.

Instead, managing director of BAE Systems’ Maritime business Andrew Davies focussed on the work the firm has been doing over the past year at the naval base.

He said: ‘This is an incredibly busy year for our maritime business and we are making excellent progress across our programmes. HMS Queen Elizabeth is really taking shape in the dock at Rosyth, and demonstrates the teamwork across the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

‘Meanwhile, we are continuing to grow our services business here in Portsmouth and the Type 45 programme has moved into an important phase, with our team supporting the first four ships, which are now in operational service with the Royal Navy and an intensive programme of sea trials for HMS Defender as the newest addition to fleet.’