BAE Systems profits fall 6 percent on US budget cuts

LONDON Thu Aug 1, 2013 2:12am EDT

LONDON Aug 1 (Reuters) - BAE Systems reported a 6 percent fall in first-half profit, weighed down by U.S. defence budget cuts, and pinned hopes for double digit growth in full-year underlying earnings per share on its Saudi jet deal concluding.

Britain's largest defence contractor said on Thursday earnings before interest, taxes and amoritisation (EBITA) over the first six months of the year was 865 million pounds ($1.3 billion). Sales rose 1 percent to 8.45 billion pounds.

BAE, which makes Eurofight Typhoon jets and aircraft carriers, said its order book rose to 43.1 billion pounds. It increased its interim dividend by 3 percent to 8 pence per share.

Analysts on average were expecting first-half EBITA of 885.67 million pounds and sales of 8.7 billion pounds, Thomson Reuters data showed.

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