The BAE Systems Board has recommended a final dividend of 14.3p for a total of 23.7p in respect of the year ending 31 December 2020. The total of 37.5p per share for the year includes an interim dividend of 13.8p per share in respect of the year ended 31 December 2019, which was originally proposed as a 2019 final dividend but subsequently deferred in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Subject to shareholder approval at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, the dividend will be paid on 1 June 2021 to holders of ordinary shares registered on 23 April 2021.
Othe financial highlights include:
- Sales increased by £0.8bn to £20.9bn, a 4% increase, excluding the impact of currency translation.
- Underlying EBITA increased to £2,132m, a 1% increase on a constant currency basis.
- Underlying earnings per share increased by 2% to 46.8p, excluding the impact of the prior year one‑off tax benefit.
- Free cash flow was £367m after the impact of the £1bn contribution into the UK pension scheme. Excluding this contribution free cash flow was £1.4bn.
- Net debt increased to £2,718m, following the £1bn bond issuance to fund the UK pension scheme, and the $2.2bn (£1.7bn) acquisitions of the Airborne Tactical Radios and Military Global Positioning System businesses.
- Order intake increased to £20.9bn.
- Order backlog of £45.2bn.