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BAE starts £1bn buyback

Predictably, the slump in defence spending both in America and the UK put a hole in profits at BAE Systems (BA.) last year. Failure to agree pricing on the Salam Typhoon programme with Saudi Arabia did, too. But the damage was not as bad as feared and a decision to buy back £1bn of shares over the next three years put a rocket under its share price even in the face of a heavy market sell-off.

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