BAE Systems reports hike in sales and reduced debt for first half of 2017

Caitlin Morrison
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BAE's operation in Govan, Scotland (Source: Getty)

BAE Systems has reported an increase in sales and revenue for the six months to 30 June.

The figures

Sales rose to £9.6bn in the first half, compared with £8.7bn reported this time last year.

Revenue increased to £9bn from £8.3bn, and operating profit went up to £865m from £776m. Earnings per share came in at 17.5p, up from 12.9p in the same period of 2016.

The weapons and aviation group said net debt at 30 June was £1.74bn, compared with debt of £2bn this time last year.

The interim dividend increased by two per cent to 8.8p per share.

Shares in the group were up 3.25 per cent to 624p in early trading.

Why it's interesting

The group has increased its dollar planning rate for the year from $1.25 to $1.28, but said the outlook for the next six months remains unchanged. BAE is expecting full year earnings per share to be five to 10 per cent higher than last year.

What BAE said

"BAE Systems' performance in the first half was consistent with our expectations and guidance for the year," said chief executive Charles Woodburn, who was appointed to the role in February this year.

"We have a sound platform for medium-term growth underpinned by a clear and consistent strategy. Strong programme execution, technology and enhanced competitive positions will be key in driving the business forward, and we will continue to focus on efficiency and meeting our customers' affordability challenges.

"With the expected improvement in the defence budget outlook in a number of our markets, the group is well placed to continue to generate good returns for shareholders."

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