BAE profits down after truck deal lost

BAE Systems fell into loss last year after a major write-down linked to its purchase of US military group Armor Holdings.

The British arms manufacturer said it suffered a net loss of £67m in 2009 compared with profit after tax totalling £1.7bn in 2008.

BAE said it was forced to writedown £973m after Armor lost the truck deal.

Two weeks ago the company suffered a further blow when it agreed to pay the Serious fraud Office £30m to settle bribery claims.

And its also paid the US Department of Justice a $400m (£255m) fee after pleading guilty to one charge of making false statements to the US Government.

But the company in an upbeat statment said that pre-tax profits before exceptional charges – including the fines – rose by 17 per cent last year, to £2.2bn.

BAE increased also increased its annual dividend by 10 per cent to 16p per share following yesterday’s results.

Investors reacted positively and BAE shares rose by around 3 per cent.

The company said in statement: "In 2010, we anticipate growth for three of our four operating groups, whilst at land and armaments return on sales will improve as rationalisation and efficiency programmes progress."

The company said it had a healthy order book for the year ahead.