BAE profits climb as Typhoon hopes rise

An RAF Typhoon in Akrotiri Cyprus

An RAF Typhoon in Akrotiri Cyprus

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Defence giant BAE Systems has reported annual profits are on the climb.

The company, which employs around 10,000 in Lancashire, said 2015 operating profits rose from £1.3bn to £1.5bn.

The solid results come just months after the firm said it was slowing down production of the Eurofighter Typhoon and shedding up to 371 jobs at its sites in Samlesbury and Warton.

The company said it had an order backlog of £36bn, down from £40bn the previous year and sales climbed 7.6 per cent to £17.9bn.

BAE Systems said that throughout 2015, there had been progressive expansion of the capabilities of Typhoon, seen as the world’s most advanced multi-role combat aircraft.

The Oman Typhoon and Hawk aircraft programme continued to meet all contractual milestones and was on track for commencement of deliveries in 2017.

Also Taranis, the stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator, successfully completed a further phase of flight trials, and construction work commenced on a new £15m training academy at Samlesbury due to be opened in September.

Chris Boardman, BAE Systems Military Air and Information’s Managing Director, said: “Throughout 2015 we have continued to deliver on all our major programmes and welcome the commitment made in the UK Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review which included future investment in Typhoon’s capabilities and an extension of the aircraft’s expected service life to 2040.

“Through a series of contracts we are maturing capability enhancements for Typhoon which, along with making the aircraft more competitively priced, will further strengthen prospects for Typhoon in the international market.

“Our focus has been, and will remain, on securing further orders in what continues to be a challenging environment.

“We are continuing to deliver on our commitments on the Hawk programme and production rates for the F-35 Lightning II programme are increasing. In addition we are making good progress on the development of our unmanned technology demonstrator, Taranis, with the completion of a third set of trials.”

Ian King, chief executive, said: “We have delivered another year of solid performance. BAE Systems has a large order backlog generated by a well-balanced portfolio of businesses serving the needs of customers in many of the world’s larger accessible markets.

“The Group is well placed to continue to generate attractive returns for shareholders as defence budgets recover and our commercial adjacencies of cyber and commercial electronics continue to grow.”