BAE doesn’t yet know bribery costs

Europe’s biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said today that it was too early to assess the likely costs of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into allegations of overseas bribery.
“At this stage, it is not possible to determine the possible future financial effects that might result from this matter,” the company said in a trading statement.
The SFO said earlier this month it was prepared to prosecute BAE for corruption in relation to overseas contracts although it has yet to formally request a criminal trial, leaving the door open to an out of court settlement.
In terms of its business BAE said it continued to expect “a year of good growth” in 2009, helped by sterling’s weakness against the dollar.
The company, which is the fifth biggest supplier to the US military by sales, said trading since July 1 had been consistent with guidance given at the time of BAE’s half year results statement on July 30.
“The group continues to anticipate a stronger operating cash inflow in the second half year than in the first,” it added.

Pic: BAE Systems logo