BAE up on Saudi hope

Suzie Neuwirth
SHARES in BAE Systems yesterday climbed to near the top of the FTSE 100, as the defence firm shrugged off a six per cent decrease in half-year earnings by signalling that it is close to sealing a long-awaited Saudi deal.

The firm has been embroiled in pricing negotiations with Saudi Arabia over the purchase of Typhoon aircraft since the so-called Salam contract was first signed in 2007.

Although BAE’s earnings fell six per cent to £865m over the first half of the year, double-digit growth is anticipated for 2013 “assuming a satisfactory conclusion to Salam Typhoon pricing negotiations this year”, the company said.

Separately, Britain’s accounting watchdog the Financial Reporting Council yesterday dropped its probe into KPMG over its audits of BAE, relating to earlier bribery allegations.