LONDON: British defence equipment firm BAE Systems on Wednesday forecast "good growth" this year despite flagging sales of land vehicles.

"The group continues to anticipate a year of good growth for 2009 as a whole despite a lower volume of land vehicle sales than in 2008," BAE said in a trading update.

It added: "When compared with 2008, the group's trading results are expected to benefit from any continued weakness of sterling against the US dollar."

BAE added that trading from June to October was in line with its expectations.

The company generates almost 60 percent of its sales in the United States and is the sixth-largest supplier to the US defence department.

As a result, sterling's slide against the dollar makes BAE's goods cheaper for buyers using the US currency. That tends to stimulate demand.

BAE added on Wednesday that it would seek to resolve a fraud investigation that is being undertaken by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Earlier this month, the SFO announced that it would seek prosecution of BAE Systems over alleged corruption involving contracts with European and African nations.

The SFO is to apply to Attorney General Patricia Scotland for permission to bring charges against BAE.

"The group continues to expend considerable effort seeking to resolve, at the earliest opportunity, the historical matters under investigation by the SFO," BAE said on Wednesday.

It added: "If the director of the SFO obtains the consent that he seeks from the Attorney General and proceedings are commenced, the group will deal with any issues raised in those proceedings at the appropriate time and, if necessary, in court.

"At this stage, it is not possible to determine the possible future financial effects that might result from this matter."

The SFO had been trying to persuade BAE to accept a plea deal rather than face prosecution over claims it paid millions of pounds to win contracts in Africa as well as central and eastern Europe, sources said earlier this month.