Portsmouth defence firm BAE reports hike in profits as it announces new pension deal
BAE Systems, which employs about 3,400 people in its maritime sector in and around Portsmouth, reported a profit hike of £294m in 2019, from £1.6bn to £1.8bn - an 18 per cent rise on the previous year.
The firm also reported a seven per cent rise in its revenue last year, with it hitting £18.3bn.
It said 2019 was a year of significant progress in its report that was released on Thursday, February 20.
Highlights included managing and maintaining Portsmouth Naval Base, supporting more than half of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet through the Maritime Support Delivery Framework, as well as the arrival of HMS Prince of Wales to her base port of Portsmouth.
BAE Systems also announced it has reached a new deal with its pension trustees.
The company's pension deficit was £1.9bn at the end of October.
It plans to make a one-off £1bn payment into the pot and will pay around £240m into the scheme by March 2020, and another £250m the following year.
Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: ‘2019 has been a year of significant progress for BAE Systems. We delivered a good set of financial results in line with guidance, growing sales and earnings, with improved operational performance and increased investment in the business to underpin our growth outlook.
‘Strategically we took a number of actions to strengthen the portfolio and the pensions agreement announced today is good for all stakeholders, helping to accelerate our strategy and further our growth outlook. We have a large order backlog and remain focused on strong programme performance to deliver a sustainable business model with enhanced financial performance.’
It also plans to hire a further 61 apprentices in 2020 in a bid to develop future talent and promote careers in STEM.
BAE Systems is sponsoring the Company CSR Initiative of the Year category at The News’ Business Excellence Awards, taking place at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday, February 21.