Fiscal third-quarter revenues surged 53% to $59.6 million, and operating profit rose by 40% to $23.9 million at unmanned air systems manufacturer AeroVironment.

However, highlighting the volatility of sales to a US defence department grappling with budget uncertainty, for its nine-month period to 25 January, UAS revenue fell by 2% to $141.8 million, although profit increased by 6% to $93.4 million.

AeroVironment’s funded backlog at the end of the period stood at $95.5 million – considerably up on the $59.4 million as of 30 April 2013.

The company sells the majority of its UAS and tactical missile systems and services to the US Department of Defense, and saw contracting delays resulting from Federal spending cuts push $100 million in expected UAS revenue out of its fiscal year 2013.

For the fiscal year to end-April 2014, AeroVironment management forecasts revenue of $230-250 million – within 4% of its 2013 total, and including contributions from its electric vehicle recharging systems business.