BAE hit by AGM job loss protest as sales stutter
BAE SYSTEMS yesterday said its sales growth was stalling while its directors faced protests over job cuts at the company’s annual general meeting.
Shareholders of the FTSE 100 company were lobbied by hundreds of protesters angry at plans for more than 800 job cuts at the company’s site in Brough, Yorkshire.
A group of workers who hold shares in BAE grilled the board at the meeting on the decision to close the Brough operation which has been making planes for over a century.
But more than 90 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the remuneration package for the company’s board including CEO Ian King. His deal is worth around £2.4m, including a £1.4m bonus made up of cash and shares.
They also gave his leadership backing despite the company facing tough trading. In an update yesterday, the firm admitted that it expected minimal sales growth in 2012. “Whilst little sales growth can be expected for the group in 2012 in the current market conditions, modest growth in underlying earnings per share is anticipated,” it said, adding that its performance hinged on finalising a jet deal with Saudi Arabia.
In 2007 Saudi Arabia signed a contract with BAE to buy 72 Typhoon aircraft, 24 of which have been delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force. BAE said the contract to build the remaining 48 jets in Britain had been signed but changes to the price were stalling it.
BAE also said it had offloaded its Safariland security protection gear business based in California to Kanders & Company for $114m.