War drives sales surge at BAE Systems

STORY: It makes everything from fighter jets to submarines and tanks.

So it’s maybe no surprise that a new era of conflict is giving BAE Systems a boost.

The UK defense giant said Thursday (February 23) that annual earnings jumped almost 10%, beating forecasts.

One year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it’s seeing rising demand for its products.

The conflict has boosted defense spending worldwide, with BAE enjoying strong demand from major customers like the U.S., UK, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

The company says its order backlog now stands at almost $71 billion.

For the coming year it’s predicting another rise in earnings per share of up to 7%.

The firm is also boosting its annual dividend, citing confidence in its long-term growth.

Its shares still fell 3% after the numbers.

But they’re up more than 50% over the past year, making them the top performer on Britain’s blue-chip FTSE index.

BAE could get another boost next month, when an update is expected on Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

The firm makes subs for the British navy, and is seen as well placed to play a big role in the new deal.