BAE Systems has said its Glasgow shipbuilding programme is on course and a new order of Typhoon jets will help drive it to another year of growth after posting higher sales in the face of the pandemic.

Shares in the defence giant nudged higher after it delivered earnings per share ahead of market expectations.

BAE said it delivered a two per cent increase in earnings per share for the past year, with this expected to rise to between 3% and 5% in 2021.

It told investors that sales rose to £20.86 billion in 2020, up from £20.11bn in the previous full year.

The company broadly shrugged off the impact of the pandemic, although some products it sells to commercial sectors such as aviation, cyber and transport saw a fall in demand.

READ MORE: HMS Spey sets sail as Glasgow delivers £635m contract despite coronavirus

However, it said this this was largely offset by positive trading in its electronic systems, fighter jet and combat shipbuilding units.

In Scotland its five River Class vessels have now been accepted by the Ministry of Defence, with the final ship, HMS Spey, leaving Glasgow and arriving at Portsmouth Naval Base in October. All five ships were designed, constructed, commissioned and delivered in six years.

BAE said the first three City Class Type 26 frigates are on contract with construction under way on the first two ships.

It said: "The programme continues to progress with all units of the first of class, HMS Glasgow, in construction. HMS Glasgow remains on track to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s. In the second half of 2020 a further five contracts were placed with UK suppliers worth more than £100 million, supporting 250 jobs. The programme sustains more than 4,000 jobs in total across the UK."

BAE added that it expects two acquisitions in its electronic systems business from last year to help boost its performance in the current year.

Charles Woodburn, BAE chief executive, said this year it aims to "ensure we are well positioned to grow the business and contribute to the economic prosperity of the countries in which we operate".

Revenue increased by £1bn to £19.3bn, while operating profit rose £31m to £1.93bn. The order book is sitting at £36.3bn, against £37.2bn in 2019.

Shares closed 1.1% up at 501.6p.