Today we announced the Group’s full year results for 2017. We delivered a good performance, consistent with our expectations, and strong cash generation. At the same time, we’ve implemented steps to build on a firm foundation to deliver medium term growth and a stronger, smarter and sharper business.
2017 has been another good year for BAE Systems with us seeing a higher tempo of activity across many of our businesses. Headline financial figures for the year include:
- Sales increased by 3% largely due to currency translation
- Underlying EBITA of £2034m - that’s 4% on a constant currency basis
- Underlying EPS of 43.5 pence, up from 40.3 pence in 2016
- Dividend of 21.8 pence per share - that’s up 2% from a year ago
- Self-funded R&D increased by 15% to £238m with £1.6bn overall R&D spend
We sustained our large order book, giving good visibility of future sales. In fact, more than 70% of our 2018 forecasted sales are already in the order backlog. Over the year our talented and dedicated workforce has continued to deliver on some of the world’s most complex and challenging engineering programmes.
2017 saw the delivery of eight Hawk aircraft and eight of twelve Typhoons to Oman; a ramp up of F 35 production to 82 sets, as we progress to full rate production; and manufacturing commenced on the Type 26 programme. We ended the year strongly, signing an agreement with Qatar for 24 Typhoon aircraft and support, which we expect to become effective by mid-year.
In the US, our Combat Vehicles business delivered 16 Amphibious Combat Vehicle prototypes to the US Marine Corps, and Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles to the US Army under the engineering and manufacturing development phase.
During the year we also re-affirmed our strategy and set out three strategic priorities for the Group: Operational excellence; improving our competitive edge and advancing our technology base.
Over the past eight months, we’ve taken decisive actions in all three areas, which will help us to deliver for our customers and win new business in what is a fast moving and increasingly competitive market environment.
Looking ahead this year, our new strategic priorities together with our long-term contracted programmes and established franchise positions provide a solid foundation to deliver growth in the medium term. We continue to invest in our highly skilled and ambitious employees who remain dedicated to delivering world-leading technologies.