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Feb. 20, 2020, 2:57 a.m. EST

BAE Systems profit and sales rise

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By Matteo Castia

BAE Systems PLC said Thursday that pretax profit rose for 2019 and that it met its earnings per share guidance for the year.

The U.K. defense-and-aerospace group made a pretax profit of 1.63 billion pounds ($2.11 billion) for the year, compared with GBP1.22 billion in 2018. Sales rose to GBP20.11 billion, from GBP18.41 billion a year earlier.

Net profit was GBP1.48 billion, the company added, up from GBP1.00 billion the previous year.

The company also said that it met its guidance for mid-single-digit growth in earnings per share, with a figure of 45.8 pence against 42.9 pence the prior year.

The board has declared a 13.8 pence final dividend, raising the yearly payout 4.5% to 23.2 pence.

BAE Systems said it expects earnings per share to grow by a mid-single digit in 2020.

The company said that in the U.S. it has maintained funding support for many key programs thanks to the 2020 governmental military spending. This includes combat vehicles, F-35s, electronic warfare programs, and current and future precision weapons systems.

"We have a large order backlog and remain focused on strong program performance to deliver a sustainable business model with enhanced financial performance," Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said.

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