Thursday, September 14, 2006

BAE profit rises 28% on US orders for Iraq


"LONDON, SEPT 13: BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s biggest weapons maker, said first-half profit rose 28%, more than analysts estimated, on US orders for Bradley fighting vehicles used in Iraq.
Net income increased to 405 million pounds ($759 million), or 12.4 pence a share, from 317 million pounds a year earlier, BAE said on Wednesday in a statement. Profit beat the 354 million-pound estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

BAE purchased United Defense Industries Inc, the maker of the Bradley, in June 2005 to become the Pentagon’s seventh-biggest contractor. London-based BAE on September 6 recommended shareholders approve the sale of its 20% stake in Airbus SAS to concentrate on US defence acquisitions.

The sale ‘‘will allow BAE to focus on the defense sector and not be distracted by some serious problems that Airbus is facing,’’ David Hart, an analyst at Fat Prophets in London, said in an interview. ‘‘Refitting Bradleys will be a strong market for them for years to come.’’

BAE generated one-third of its 15.4 billion pounds in 2005 sales in the US. It is adding sensor technology and protective systems to vehicles that carry infantry into battle, including the US Army’s fleet of 7,000 Bradleys."

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