The Daily Telegraph

BAE sales boost to £30bn as world moves to war footing

- By Howard Mustoe

ORDERS for submarines and fighting vehicles have boosted sales at BAE Systems to £30bn so far this year.

Demand for military equipment has jumped as the world moves on to a war footing, with conflict in both the Middle East and Ukraine.

BAE’S bookings so far this year include £3.9bn towards the next phase of the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines, being developed jointly with the US and Australia.

The US has also ordered more Bradley armoured vehicles and Europeans including the Czechs have bought hundreds of CV90 fighting vehicles.

Analysts at Barclays led by Charlotte Keyworth said they expected the British defence company to book £34bn of business by the end of the year.

Charles Woodburn, its chief executive, said: “We are delivering another year of good sales and earnings growth, together with strong cash flow generation. Order flow on new and existing programmes, renewals on incumbent positions and progress with our opportunit­y pipeline remain strong. These underpin our confidence and visibility for good top-line growth in the coming years.”

Defence companies have reaped billions of pounds of sales from countries seeking to rearm in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BAE made a record £37bn in sales last year as government­s globally invested in defence capabiliti­es to guard against a newly bellicose Moscow.

The company recently won about £1.4bn of work from Britain’s £4bn deal with Poland to supply air defence missiles and systems. Poland will buy the armaments from MBDA, the missile company BAE partly owns with Italy’s Leonardo and Airbus. However, this deal is not included in the figures released yesterday since the order will probably be booked next year.

In April, the Ministry of Defence awarded BAE £656m for the next stage of developmen­t of Tempest, the war plane which will replace the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon fighter from 2035.

The jet is being developed with Italy and Japan. Saudi Arabia and Germany are also potential candidates to join the programme.

However, progress is being threatened by Berlin’s insistence on blocking a Saudi order for 48 Typhoon jets. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has blocked the deal in the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi airstrikes on Yemen.

Typhoons are partly constructe­d in the UK and Berlin’s block puts jobs at risk.

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