30 Jul 09. BAE Systems Chief Executive Ian King dismissed suggestions that Europe’s largest defense firm might become a victim of a spending downturn. King, speaking after he unveiled financial results for the six months to the end of June, said the company was “extremely well placed” to weather any spending adjustments in the U.K. and the U.S. with “long-term commitments on the right programs.” The BAE boss said that the company wasn’t totally immune, but he pointed to Typhoon, Joint Strike Fighter, a 15-year Royal Navy shipbuilding program, sustainment and readiness projects, and what he called “sweet spots like infrared, power management and electronic warfare” in the Electronics, Intelligence & Support business. “In the air sector alone, the imminent Tranche 3 deal on Typhoon will take manufacture out to 2017. On Joint Strike Fighter [in which BAE is a partner], we are already in low-rate initial production, and by 2016/17, the program will be producing some 220 aircraft,” he said. The four-nation Tranche 3 deal is expected to be signed tomorrow.
King said Typhoon’s export prospects were good, although he rated its chance of winning an Indian competition for a new fighter as a “long shot.” The Typhoon is up against European, Russian and U.S. rivals.
Although BAE was pretty bullish about its medium-term prospects, the small print of the company’s results highlighted concerns that some of its supply chain may not be so robust during the current economic downturn. The company has said that one of its principal risks is the ability of its suppliers to meet their obligations. “In addition to the principal risks identified in the Annual Report 2008, the following additional risk concerning dependence on component availability, subcontractor performance and key suppliers has been identified,” the
half-yearly report said. “Some of the Group’s suppliers or subcontractors may be impacted by the current economic environment and constraints on available financing, which could impair their ability to meet their obligations to the Group.” King, who said the issue had been identified during a recent bond issue, said BAE had not been affected yet. He said the company was being “very vigilant about the [health] of the supply chain, although it does not mean we are going to loan them money.” (Source: Defense News)
31 Jul 09. Safran (SAF.PA)posted forecast-beating first-half profit but said the economic environment remained difficult and volatile as dwindling airline traffic and the business jet market collapse undermines lucrative spare parts sales. Operating profit from recurring operations slipped 1.2 percent in the first six months to 324m euros, while revenue rose 1.8 percent to 5.15bn, the French aerospace and defence group said in a statement on Friday. Analysts had on average forecast first-half operating profit of €292m on revenue of €5.076bn, according to Reuters Estimates. “Our first-half 2009 results, which were achieved in a difficult operating environment in the civil aviation sector, are in line with our objectives for the full year,” Chief Executive Jean-Paul Herteman said in a statement. Safran’s 2009 operating margin is expected to be at the upper end of the target range of 5-6 percent, he said. Sales are still seen on the same level as 2008, based on a forecast 4-5 percent drop in air traffic and $1.43 to the euro. Analysts had not expected Safran to change its guidance. (Source: Reuters)
31 Jul 09. Armor Designs Inc. updated the market on the fundraising announced on 19 June 2009. At the time the Company announced that it had raised US$2.5m by way of a private placement of 166,667 common shares at a price of US$15 per share. At the same time the Company announced that it would seek admission to trading of these shares on 26 June 2009. On 29 June 2009 these shares were admitted to trading on AIM. The Company wishes to announce that as of today the funds from the issue of 66,667 common shares (i.