BAE Systems hails record order intake
Defence company BAE Systems hailed a record order intake for 2022 on Thursday, as it posted a rise in sales and underlying earnings amid what it described as an "elevated threat environment".
In the year to the end of December 2022, the order intake rose to £37.1bn from £21.5bn a year earlier, while the order backlog increased to £58.9bn from £44bn.
Sales grew 4.4% to £23.3bn and underlying earnings per share were up 9.5% at 55.5p, versus analyst expectations of 53.9p. BAE lifted its dividend per share by 7.6% to 27p.
For the year to the end of December 2023, BAE expects sales to grow by 3% to 5% on the year and for underlying earnings before interest and tax to rise by 4% to 6%. Underlying earnings per share are forecast to grow by 5% to 7%.
Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: "Our diverse geographic footprint, deep customer relationships and highly relevant, leading defence technologies mean we're well positioned to support national security requirements in an elevated threat environment.
"Our record orders and financial performance give us confidence in delivering long-term growth and to continue investing in new technologies, facilities and thousands of highly skilled jobs, whilst increasing shareholder returns."
At 0915 GMT, the shares were down 2.7% at 877.40p.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, noted that the shares are up around 45% over a one-year period and said "investors are struggling to get excited by the stock today with shares under pressure".