British military equipment maker BAE Systems said Thursday that it won a record-high number of orders last year, the start of which saw Russia invade Ukraine.
Orders totaled pound37.1 billion ($44.7 billion) in 2022, and BAE said it expected “renewed importance of armored combat vehicles in the Ukraine conflict to benefit” the group going forward.
“Most of the countries in which we operate have either announced increases or are making plans to increase spending to address the elevated threat environment,” BAE said in its results statement.
“Whilst global economic and fiscal pressures weigh on governments, the commitment to defence in our major markets remains robust,” it said.
BAE’s chief executive Charles Woodburn said the “record orders and financial performance give” the company “confidence in delivering long-term growth and to continue investing in new technologies, facilities and thousands of highly skilled jobs, whilst increasing shareholder returns”.
BAE’s record year took its orders backlog to pound59 billion.
“As these are typically long-cycle (deliveries), with revenues spread over several years, it gives BAE multi-year revenue visibility,” noted Aarin Chiekrie, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“An enviable asset to have in uncertain times, and the market seems to agree, with BAE being the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 (London shares index) over the past year — up nearly 50 percent,” he said.
Following Thursday’s results, a bit of profit-taking set in, with the group’s shares falling 1.2 percent.