BAE Systems sales fire up as tank orders roll in
BAE Systems has delivered a jump in sales and profits, with the performance matched by the division which includes its Telford operation.
The defence giant saw sales increase by four per cent to £9.6 billion in the first six months of the year, while underlying profits were 11 per cent to £945 million compared to the same period a year ago.
In its UK Platforms And Services division, which includes the armoured vehicles maintenance division at Hadley Park in Telford where it employs about 200 people, saw sales rise by seven per cent to £3.9 billion as orders continued to flood in.
"The business has continued to provide support to previously supplied armoured vehicles and bridging systems, with orders of £14 million received in the period," the company said.
"The business is one of two contenders delivering the first stage of the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project."
Telford is home to the Challenger 2 project team, which is currently assessing what needs to be done to allow the British Army's main battle tank to remain in service until 2035.
BAE added that while the General Election had led to the formation of a minority government, "defence and security is expected to remain a priority".
The company added that it was still looking for ways to cut costs.
Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: "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."
The group also said it would take a charge in the second half for overhauling its cyber and intelligence arm, where revenues are "softening".
The weak pound against a strong dollar has helped BAE as it makes sales in the United States more valuable when translated into sterling earnings.
Shares in the group rose three per cent after the results.