Lockheed Martin's net earnings more than doubled last year, as sales increased by 20% to a record $31.8 billion on higher military aircraft deliveries, writes Graham Warwick. The company delivered 62 F-16s and 15 C-130Js last year, compared with 21 and eight, respectively, in 2002. Revenues from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development programme also grew.

Sales grew in all businesses, says Lockheed Martin, and net earnings from 2003 were $1.1 billion compared with $500 million a year earlier. The company is projecting revenues of $33.5-34.5 billion for this year, $500 million higher than previously estimated because of an acquisition in government information technology, rising to $34-36 billion in 2005.

Raytheon saw revenues increase 8% last year to $18.1 billion - including $15.5 billion in government and defence sales - but income from continuing operations slipped to $535 million in 2003 from $755 million a year earlier, because of cost growth on high-risk programmes in its Network Centric Systems sector. The company is forecasting net sales of $19.5-20 billion for 2004.

General Dynamics (GD) has also projected revenues of over $19 billion for this year, after sales grew 20% last year to $16.6 billion, while net earnings rose $9.5% to just over $1 billion. Net sales and operating earnings fell in GD's Aerospace sector in 2003 compared with a year earlier, revenues slipping 10% to $2.95 billion and profits halving to $218 million on lower deliveries of Gulfstream business jets.

As expected, revenues at engine manufacturers General Electric and Pratt & Whitney fell last year, by 4% to $10.7 billion at GE and by 2% to $7.5 billion at P&W. But GE Aircraft Engines actually increased its earnings by 4% to $2.15 billion while P&W saw operating profits drop 12% to $1.1 billion.

Source: Flight International