BAE Systems reveals 'stronger-than-expected' half-year earnings in good news for Portsmouth

BRITAIN’S biggest defence contractor, which employs thousands of people across the Solent, has announced ‘stronger-than-expected’ half-year earnings.

By Tom Cotterill
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 1:21 pm

BAE Systems, which is responsible for looking after the Royal Navy’s multi-billion pound fleet in Portsmouth, has seen a slight rise in its earnings before interest and taxes.

Its latest set of six-month figures up to June this year show the firm earned £1.112bn - up 8.2 per cent from £1.028bn from the same period last year

Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems, said the results had been ‘in line with expectations’.

Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems, pictured with the full-sized mock-up of the 6th Generation combat aircraft, the Tempest at Warton. The picture comes as BAE revealed its first half-year results for 2022.

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He added: ‘Our diverse portfolio, together with our focus on programme execution, cash generation and efficiencies are helping us navigate the current macroeconomic challenges and position us well for sustained top line and margin growth in the coming years.

‘We see further opportunities to enhance the medium- and long‑term outlook as our customers commit to increased defence spending to address the elevated threat environment.

‘Good operational performance, execution on our strategy and confidence in the outlook enables us today to announce a five per cent increase in the interim dividend as well as initiating a new, three-year share buyback programme for up to £1.5bn.’

Working on Coronavirus Ventilators for NHS at BAE Systems, Broad Oak, Portsmouth

The company said it foresaw a potential surge in defence spending globally in light of the Ukraine war, and that it was supporting customers for mission-critical activities.

‘Across Europe and further afield, we're seeing countries up their defence budgets as they move to, and sometimes beyond, the Nato commitment of two per cent of GDP,’ Mr Woodburn told reporters.

‘Given the numerous defence spending announcements around the world, we see additional opportunities to further improve the outlook.’

In the Solent region, BAE Systems employs more than 3,500 people, who have been involved in repairing, upgrading and supporting the navy’s fleet in Portsmouth, as well as developing new weapons and technology.

As well as supporting the navy, BAE has also provided £250,000 to the HIVE Portsmouth to help it with a variety of community projects all over the city.

In 2022, BAE offered 78 graduate and 135 apprentice positions in Portsmouth – its highest ever number of early careers placements in the city.