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Friday, 27 March 2015

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Barrow shipyard leads way despite drop in profits for BAE

PROFITS at BAE dropped by almost seven per cent last year it has been revealed – but Barrow has still had a positive year, according to shipyard bosses.

CONTRACTS HMS Ambush in BAE’s Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow Mike Vallance

BAE Systems’ accounts showed profits have fallen by 6.6 per cent to £1.3bn, while sales also reduced by seven per cent to £17.8bn in 2012.

The company has warned sales in the UK and US, which account for 20 per cent of business, are expected to beconstrained for the year ahead.

However, contracts elsewhere more than doubled last year to £11.2bn, leading to an eight per cent increase in the company’s order backlog to £42bn.

That has been fuelled by strong activity in Barrow, where the shipyard has secured a number of high-value contracts including £1.2bn for the design, build, test and commissioning of Audacious, the fourth submarine in the Astute class, and two awards of £328m and £314m for ongoing design work on the Successor programme to replace the Vanguard class submarines.

John Hudson, managing director of Maritime – Submarines, said: “Delivery of the second Astute class submarine Ambush was a hugely significant milestone for the business.

“To then gain contract acceptance in December, just three months after it left Barrow, was a major success, further highlighting the progress we have made across the submarine programme, as well as demonstrating the fantastic capabilities of the class.

“It was especially pleasing to see significant order intake in the year, with orders for further submarines, design of the Successor submarine and combat systems support.”

With reduced activity in support of US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, BAE has targeted growth in cyber, intelligence and security businesses. It has also reduced its headcount by 3,600 over the last year, bringing the total reduction over the past four years to around 26,000 worldwide.

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