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BAE holds guidance, sees boost from global tensions

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 09 May 2024

(Sharecast News) - Weapons maker BAE Systems held annual guidance and said global geopolitical tensions should boost orders as countries increased defence spending.

The group still expects sales to rise 10% to 12% above 2023's £25bn and underlying earnings before interest and tax 11% to 13% better than the £2.7bn posted last year as the Ukraine war and tensions with superpower China continue.

"Defence spending is high across our sectors and key markets. The recent passing of the US supplemental aid package to Ukraine and the commitment by the UK government to spend 2.5% of GDP by 2030 should build further positive momentum," the company said in a trading update ahead of its annual shareholder meeting.

BAE in March won the massive contract to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS security pact, and the company said it was well-positioned to cash in on further developments.

"With our global presence and wide portfolio of high-end technologies and services, any further expansion of the current AUKUS programme would enhance our long-term opportunity pipeline," the company said.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Aarin Chiekrie said the figures were boosted by the group's acquisition of Ball Aerospace, with integration of the business - know called Space & Mission Systems - progressing well.

"The current £1.5bn three-year share buyback programme is moving full steam ahead, now 90% complete after less than two years. And thanks to impressive cash generation, it's set to be followed up by another three-year buyback programme of the same size, putting extra cash back in shareholders' pockets," he said.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for


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