French aerospace and defence group Thales has reported revenues up 15% in the first half of 2002, mainly due to increased defence sales and acquisitions.

Company sales topped €4.98 billion ($4.84 billion) in the six months to 30 June. Aerospace, information technologies and services sales were flat, but defence sales rose 29% to €2.9 billion over the first half of 2001. Thales took complete control of ADI, Thales Underwater Systems, Thales ATM and Thales Navigation, in all of which it was previously a majority shareholder. Without these consolidations, revenues grew only 9.5%, mainly due to strong growth in air defence, naval and airborne systems, the company says.

Thales has profited from the 2000 acquisition of Racal for £1.8 billion ($2.7 billion), which made it a leading military radar and defence electronics manufacturer. But this left Thales with significant debt and it has revealed neither its profits for the period nor the extent of its efforts to improve its balance sheet. If it has maintained its 6% operating margin, it will have a €299 million operating profit for the first half.

Source: Flight International