BAE Systems reveals half year sales drop

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BAE Systems has reported a 10 per cent drop in sales in the first half of the year.

The planemaking giant reported sales of £7.6 billion.

Operating profit was £689 million, compared to £752 million in the same period last year.

Ian King, Chief Executive, said sales were expected to be weighted towards the second half of the year.

He said: “Operationally, the Group continues to perform well, benefiting from good programme performance on its large order backlog of almost £40bn.

“We continue to see a high level of activity in international markets, including from our substantial presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while the US and UK environments remain more constrained.”

He added: “Sales are anticipated to be weighted towards the second half of 2014, including the timing of Typhoon aircraft deliveries.

“We are finalising a further £1.3bn of international orders and are at an advanced stage of negotiations on a further £1bn of UK sole source naval contracts.

“Excluding the impact of exchange translation, the Group remains on track to deliver earnings in line with our expectations for the full year.”

Around 11,000 people are employed in the Military Air division at Warton and Samlesbury.

BAE Systems makes the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Hawk, and part of the American F-35.

Chris Boardman, Managing Director for Military Air and Information, said: “The market for air defence products and services remains highly competitive.

“We are responding to this challenge by enhancing our offering while continuing our focus on cost.”

The company is also making progress in future technologies like the Taranis unmanned aircraft.