British arms, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems has reported sales of £23.3bn for fiscal year 2022, a 4.4% increase from £21.3bn in 2021.

The annual order intake reported by the company for 2022 was £37.1bn, which resulted in an order backlog of £58.9bn. 

Underlying earnings per share for the year, which ended on 31 December 2022, went up by 9.5% to 55.5p.

BAE Systems also recorded free cash flow of £1.950bn in 2022, compared to £1.864bn in 2021. 

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Underlying earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at £2.479bn and the share repurchases totalled £0.8bn in 2022.

BAE Systems chief executive Charles Woodburn said: “Good operational performance, execution on our strategy, and confidence in the outlook enables us today to announce a 5% increase in interim dividend, as well as initiating a new, three-year share buyback programme for up to £1.5bn.”

The company said its maritime sector posted good year-over-year sales for the reported year by maintaining steady margins, as work pace improved for Dreadnought submarines, along with Australia’s Hunter-class and the UK’s Type 26 ship programmes.

In 2022, BAE established a Digital Intelligence unit by combining cyber, space, data analysis, digital transformation, and other advanced capabilities sectors.

The company is also expecting that its combat vehicles business will continue to grow due to the Ukraine conflict.

BAE claimed that it aligned with the US Department of Defense’s strategy to develop advanced technologies in areas such as electronic warfare and multi-domain operations.

The company further attributed strong results to its participation in the Eurofighter Typhoon consortium and the US foreign military sale deals, allowing BAE to build its European/Nato customer base.

BAE said its partnership also strengthened with Japanese and Italian industry partners, after the two countries recently joined the UK-led Global Combat Air Programme.

BAE Systems group finance director Brad Greve said: “For 2023, we’re forecasting further top-line growth, continued margin expansion, higher EPS, and we’re also increasing rolling three-year cash targets, all of which demonstrate that the business has growing momentum for the future.”

The company expects a 2023 sales increase of 3% to 5% and an underlying EPS increase of 5% to 7%.