Defence giant BAE Systems today said export orders for the Fylde-built Typhoon are vital to future growth as it revealed a fall in underlying profits of six per cent for the first half of the year.
The group’s half yearly figures showed underlying profit before tax was £865m, compared to £922m for the same period last year.
Operating profit of £750m was also down on £768m compared to last year, while sales dipped one per cent to £8.5bn.
But bosses said there was cause for optimism.
Chris Boardman, managing director of the Military Air and Information division, said: “On the back of the orders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman last year, there is a renewed spirit of optimism in the business and a real focus on doing all we can do to secure more export orders.
“We have several ongoing campaigns for both Typhoon and Hawk and with each we have the support of the UK Government which is crucial if we are going to be successful.
“The Sultanate of Oman order for 12 Typhoon and eight Hawk aircraft helps sustain thousands of jobs in the region gives us a stable base to build from and fits in with our strategy to make MAI a truly international business.”
Around 11,500 workers are employed in the Military Air and Information division at Warton and Samlesbury.
Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems, said: “This is a challenging environment but we continue to take the necessary actions to manage the business for the benefit of both our customers and our shareholders.
“We have received £4.8bn of orders outside the UK and US in the first six months, a continued sign of the momentum in international activity.”
In 2012 BAE won an order from Oman for 12 Typhoons and eight Hawk trainers worth £2.5bn and a £4.5bn deal with Saudi Arabia for 22 Hawks worth £1.6bn.
It is currently in negotiations to sell 72 Typhoons to the Saudis.
BAE is also looking at other overseas customers for its Typhoon and Hawk jets, with India reportedly interested in buying the Hawk.