Sales slump at defence firm

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DEFENCE firm BAE Systems said it had a good start to the year bolstered by deals with the Australian Government to build new warships – despite posting a fall in profits. 

The company, which employs around 3,500 people in the Solent area in its maritime services and naval ships businesses, saw its sales fall by three per cent to £8.8bn in the first half of 2018. 

It also posted a two per cent drop in underlying earnings per share to 19.8 pence. 

However it said it was on course for flat earnings –  with expected earnings for 2018 in line with the figure for 2017.

Charles Woodburn, chief executive, said: ‘We have made good progress in the first half strengthening the outlook through significant wins on the Australian SEA 5000 and US Amphibious Combat Vehicle programmes. These, combined with the launch of the UK Combat Air Strategy, provide good momentum into the second half and beyond.’