Today we announced the Group’s interim financial results for the first six months of 2017, where we delivered sales and earnings in line with expectations and delivered several important milestones for our customers.
Headline figures for the first six months of the year include:
- Sales increased by 4% on a constant currency basis, to £9.6bn
- Underlying EBITA of £945m up 11% - or 5% on a constant currency basis
- Underlying EPS of 19.8 pence, up from 17.4 pence this time last year
- Interim dividend of 8.8 pence per share - that’s up 2% from a year ago
During the first half of this year our people have achieved some great work and we have delivered several important milestones, including the launch of the fourth Astute class submarine, Audacious, and the contract award for the sixth in class boat; the start of sea trials for the UK’s flagship Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier; receiving the manufacturing phase contract for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 warships and delivered the first two of 12 Typhoons for the Sultanate of Oman.
These results are the first that I have presented since assuming the role of CEO and I just want to take this opportunity to say what a privilege it is to lead a company with the engineering, advanced manufacturing and technology credentials of BAE Systems.
Since joining over a year ago, I’ve been able to see first-hand the breadth and scale of the important work we do, and I’ve met many of our talented and passionate employees.
That process has really underlined the company’s strengths: this is a strong, well-run business with a robust order book and long-term programme positions across the globe. Our market-leading technologies and the capabilities of our highly skilled workforce are also key factors which have enabled us to earn our position as a trusted partner to governments and businesses around the world.
As a company we take great pride in the critical role we play in the delivery of some of the most important defence programmes across the world. So my first priority is ensuring we focus on operational excellence and really deliver for our customers and the nations that count on us. We also know that we’re operating in a more competitive world, so we will maintain and intensify our focus on efficiency. Finally, technology is an increasing driver of competitive advantage. We will build on our strong focus in this area as we ensure that we continue to anticipate our customer needs and develop the technologies of the future.
Our results demonstrate that we are delivering for our customers and our shareholders, and that we remain on track to deliver the Group full year earnings and cash guidance. We have a sound platform for medium term growth and a clear and consistent strategy to execute over the coming years.
With the expected improvement in defence budget outlook in a number of our markets, we are well placed to continue to generate good returns for our shareholders.