LONDON (Reuters) - BAE Systems, the world's third-largest defence contractor, has started its new financial year well, with trading consistent with expectations, it said on Wednesday.
The firm said its outlook remains unchanged with 2017 underlying earnings per share expected to be approximately 5 percent to 10 percent higher than the 40.3 pence made in 2016.
"Our strategy is well defined, we have a large order backlog, long-term programme positions and a well balanced portfolio," said Chief Executive Ian King.
"With an improving outlook for defence budgets in a number of our markets, in 2017 and beyond we are well placed to continue to generate attractive returns for shareholders."
The update was released ahead of BAE's annual shareholder meeting.
King will retire from the group at the end of June. He will be succeeded as CEO by Charles Woodburn, the current chief operating officer.
Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton