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BAE Systems profits as governments splurge on military

Posted by Agence France-Presse on

British military equipment maker BAE Systems said Thursday that its annual net profit shot higher on rising military budgets around the world.

Profit after tax rallied almost 50 percent to about £1.5 billion ($1.3 billion, 1.2 billion euros) in 2019 compared with a year earlier, BAE said in a results statement.

Revenues jumped nine percent to £18.3 billion, bolstered by high military spending by governments around the world — particularly in the United States.

“In 2019, BAE Systems delivered a good set of financial results underpinned by improving operational performance,” the defence firm said.

“Governments in key markets continue to prioritize defence and security and there is a strong demand for the group’s capabilities, products and services.”

Underlining its commitment to the valuable US market, BAE swooped last month to buy key electronic systems from US peers Raytheon and United Technologies — whose planned merger has necessitated asset sales.

“2019 has been a year of significant progress for BAE Systems,” chief executive Charles Woodburn said in Thursday’s earnings release.

“We delivered a good set of financial results in line with guidance, growing sales and earnings, with improved operational performance and increased investment in the business to underpin our growth outlook.

“Strategically we took a number of actions to strengthen the portfolio and the pensions agreement announced today is good for all stakeholders. These will help to accelerate our strategy and further our growth outlook,” Woodburn added.

The group’s share price jumped 2.6 percent to 656.40 pence in London trading.

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