- BAE systems maintained its guidance after reporting that its start to the year had been in line with expectations amid ongoing improvements on a 'number of fronts.'

The company said its guidance provided at the preliminary announcement on 21 February remained unchanged for 2019, though reiterated that operating cashflow in 2019 was expected to be 'significantly second half weighted.'

In the UK, the focus for the year continued to be on the execution of the group's long-term contracted positions in Air and Maritime, with company reporting that the production ramp on the F-35 programme progresses well.

'Typhoon support continued to perform strongly and, with the centurion standard having been declared, the UK Tornado fleet successfully retired from service on schedule,' it added.

In the US, the group's US portfolio remains well aligned with customer priorities and growth areas, providing 'greater near-term certainty and support to our medium term planning assumptions,' the company said.

Following the challenges on the M109A7 Paladin Integrated Management production in 2018, gradual improvements were being made towards achieving the revised production schedule that ramps to eight vehicles per month by year-end, BAE said.

'With a record defence order backlog and long term programme positions the business is well positioned for growth. Our priority is to deliver consistent and strong operational performance for our customers and shareholders. The start to the year has been in line with expectations with improvements being made on a number of fronts,' said Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive.

Story provided by