Profits double at defence giant BAE systems

BAE systems, which has manufacturing sites in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, has reported a strong rise in annual profits. Earnings grew by 31% and the company says it expects a "further year of good growth." BAE is benefiting from an increase in military spending to support campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems says: "From this robust base we look to the future with confidence as we continue to deliver value for our customers, employees and shareholders."

BAE employs nearly a thousand people in the region. 675 work at the Scotswood plant on Tyneside making the Panther light tactical vehicle and the Titan and Trojan engineering vehicles. 300 are employed at Birtley in Gateshead where they make machine parts for the munitions side of the operation.

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