Investor Alert

Feb. 25, 2021, 2:39 a.m. EST

BAE Systems reports 2020 profit fall

By Anthony O. Goriainoff

BAE Systems PLC said Thursday that 2020 pretax profit fell after it booked higher costs and that it was well placed to deliver profitable top-line growth with increasing cash conversion in the coming years.

The U.K. defense-and-aerospace group said this was due to its large order backlog, incumbent program positions and its evolving pipeline of opportunities.

BAE Systems made a pretax profit of 1.6 billion pounds ($2.26 billion), compared with GBP1.63 billion for 2019.

Sales rose to GBP20.86 billion from GBP20.11 billion a year earlier. Analysts at FactSet had forecast sales of GBP20.29 billion.

Net profit was GBP1.3 billion compared with GBP1.48 billion in 2019 and consensus of GBP1.24 billion, taken from FactSet and based on eight analysts' forecasts.

Revenue rose to GBP19.28 billion from GBP18.31 billion the year before.

The arms company said that it expects sales for 2021 to grow in the 3% to 5% range over 2020. It added that sales growth is expected in Air and Electronic Systems partially offset by continued weakness in commercial aerospace revenues. It added that around 80% of expected sales are already in order backlog.

The board declared a dividend of 14.3 pence a share.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.