BAE Systems aims for strong position as Russian war may see countries boost defence spending

Increased defence spending internationally due to the threat from Russia looks set to give one of Lancashire’s biggest employers a boost in the coming year.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:57 am

At its annual general meeting, BAE Systems bosses gave an update on its progress for 2022 and said it was so far so good.

Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: "Trading in the first quarter has been in line with expectations with strong order intake and good operational performance being maintained.

“Looking forward, our diverse portfolio, together with our focus on programme execution, cash generation and efficiencies, are helping us to navigate the challenging operating environment in the near term, while positioning us well for sustained top line and margin growth in the coming years, alongside accelerating our ESG agenda.

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Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer of BAE Systems, pictured with the full-sized mock-ip of the 6th Generation combat aircraft, the Tempest at Warton.

"Additionally, we see opportunities to further enhance the medium-term outlook as our customers address the elevated threat environment.”

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The company which employs almost 10,000 in Lancashire, said that overall programme execution had been good across all sectors in the year to date, but there were ongoing pressures on supply chains, delivery lead times and recruiting. But it said major financial impacts were being mitigated and in many cases, it benefits from long-term programme positions and incumbencies with more stable forward visibility for long-lead items allowing it to actively manage supplier lead times against demand requirements.

Bosses said they expect a strong year of order intake and order flow to date had been positive especially on our long-term programmes.

They said: “Additionally, there is a pipeline of opportunities across all sectors to enhance the growth outlook, as we look to support our key customers and allies in addressing the heightened threat environment.”

It added that with the chance of countries upping their defence budgets it was well placed through its positions on Eurofighter Typhoon, its shareholding in MBDA, BAE Systems Hägglunds and Bofors businesses based in Sweden.

It said that as previously announced, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn and Ian Tyler will be standing down from their roles as non-executive directors at the AGM and that Nicole Piasecki will succeed Ian Tyler as chairman of the Rremuneration committee.

The 2021 final dividend of 15.2 pence per share will be paid, subject to shareholder approval, on 1 June 2022 and it will announce its interim results for the half year ending June 30, 2022 on July 28, 2022.