Chris Jasper/LONDON


Lockheed Martin has launched a sweeping review of its entire business portfolio and will decide in a few months on the possible disposal of some of its assets. Industry sources suggest the US giant is prepared to shed $1 billion-worth of assets as it fights to reverse a sharp decline in profits.

Details of the review were disclosed to analysts last month as Lockheed Martin revealed that it was expecting to take a loss for the second quarter of this year and is resigned to significantly reduced earnings for 1999 and 2000 (Flight International, 16-22 June).

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company will not say which areas of its $26 billion-a-year business are most likely to be sold off, but it is thought that the manufacturer is reviewing the future of units ranging from major production sites to niche products.

The study should be completed by September.

"We can confirm that we do have a comprehensive review under way and that we are looking at operational performance and organisational effectiveness and other strategic issues," Lockheed Martin says. "That review is ongoing and we will not comment on specifics because we are still under way. No decisions have been made - it's still in progress and will be for two or three months yet."

Lockheed Martin has six major sectors and reports suggest that some - such as Energy and Environment and Information and Services - could be shed in their entirety. Among products said to be under review are several from the company's Electronics division, including radars, cockpit displays and weapons firing systems. Lockheed Martin's space and strategic missiles activities are also likely to come under scrutiny.

There may be questionmarks over major plants in the Aeronautics sector, although any major moves involving its Skunk Works, Palmdale, California, Fort Worth, Texas, sites or the troubled Marietta, Georgia-based C-130J and F-22 lines would seem unlikely, certainly before a decision on its Joint Strike Fighter bid, due in 2001.

Source: Flight International