BAE Systems launches £500m share buyback as half-year earnings top £1bn

Global defence, aerospace and security company BAE Systems has launched a £500m share buyback scheme after its half-year earnings topped £1bn.

The group, which has sites across the UK including in the North West, West Midlands, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, confirmed its earnings totalled £1.03bn during the six months to June 30, 2021, a rise from £849m which it posted during the same period in 2020.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, BAE Systems added that it would also raise its interim dividend 5% to 9.9p per share.

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The group also confirmed its sales for the period increased from £9.8bn to £10bn.

The half-year results come as the group announced it had been awarded a £250m contract by the Ministry of Defence to progress the development of Tempest, the replacement fighter jet for the Typhoon.

The programme is being delivered by Team Tempest – combining the expertise of the UK MOD, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce.

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Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees across the group, we have delivered a strong first half performance which underlines our confidence in the full year guidance for top line growth, margin expansion and three-year cash targets.

“We are well positioned for sustained growth in the coming years and are ramping up our investments in advanced technologies to deliver capabilities for our customers in the face of an evolving threat environment.

“Following the decisive action taken to accelerate our UK deficit pension payments in 2020, the committed investment in the business coupled with the good operational performance, we are driving enhanced cash generation.

“This enables us today to announce a 5% increase in the interim dividend as well as initiating a new share buyback programme of up to £500m.”

Business Live – West Midlands