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BAE Systems set for second-half bounce-back suggest UBS

BAE managed to achieve some key milestones on the Qatar Typhoon and in Maritime most notably. 

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BAE Systems PLC (LON:BA.) should see a much stronger second-half performance as operations return to normal following coronavirus disruption, according to broker UBS.

The defence equipment giant warned earlier that first-half profits to June will be 15% below a year ago due to disruption from the pandemic.

Higher margin areas such as passenger jet electricals and transport systems had been worst affected, though it said factories in Britain were now 90% back at work. 

Swiss firm UBS said that despite the disruptions, BAE managed to achieve some key milestones on the Qatar Typhoon and in Maritime most notably. 

As demand for BAE Systems capabilities remains high the order intake is in line with initial expectations pre-COVID-19, the broker added.  

Interim sales will be flat at around £9.4bn with underlying profits 15% down at £850m, but UBS expects there to be a strong second half thanks to a recovery of operational tempo assuming no new significant COVID-19 disruption. 

The broker forecasts underlying profits of £1,1bn and sales for the year of £19.9bn. 

BAE said that following the announcement in April to defer the decision on the 2019 final dividend payment, it will update with the half-year results next month. 

Shares were unchanged at 480p against UBS’s 12-month target price of  511p.

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