BAE's profits, revenues rise on Ukraine weapons demand

BAE Systems (LSE: BA), the UK’s largest defence company, reported higher profits and revenues for 2023 on Wednesday amid strong demand for its weapons from Ukraine and other global allies.

Pretax profit at the FTSE 100 group rose 17% to £2.33 billion last year, while revenues grew 8.6% to £23.08 billion. BAE’s order backlog also expanded 19% to £58 billion, which it partly credited to deliveries of M777 howitzers to Ukraine’s military.

Looking ahead, BAE predicts continued growth in its US defence services business, although market conditions remain highly competitive. The company recommended an 11% increase in its total dividend payout to 30.0 pence per share.

BAE’s share price dipped 3.4% to 1,209.50 pence on Wednesday morning despite the upbeat results. The stock has still risen 33% over the past year as Russia’s invasion spurs allies to boost defence spending.