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Nov 10. Johannesburg-based Paramount Group, Africa’s largest privately held defence and aerospace company and one of the top defence manufacturers in South Africa, is predicting strong sales growth following the launch of its revolutionary armoured vehicle which is taking the defence market by storm. The prediction comes as the company concludes a number of recent contracts to sell mine protected vehicles to prominent African states and puts Asia, Eastern Europe and South America firmly in its sights for growth. Paramount Group already works with 22 defence forces around the world. A statement to AfricaNews said the company has seen 20% sales growth year on year over the last five years and doubling of its workforce in the last 12 months to respond to new orders for its mine resistant vehicles for peacekeeping and internal security operations. As part of its expansion plans Paramount Group recently bought a 30% stake in top South African communications company, Emcom Wireless Ltd, which provides mission critical communications equipment. This investment will allow Paramount Group to adapt to the growing African market for UN peacekeeping vehicles which require high tech communications in order to operate effectively with multi-national forces. (Source: Google)

29 Nov 10. Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., today announced it has made an equity investment in Adaptive Flight, Inc., a Georgia-based manufacturer of avionics system solutions for small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The investment, in part, will be directed toward developing technologies that allow piloted and unpiloted aircraft to work together, an area in which the parties have been collaborating. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)

30 Nov 10. Optical components and systems specialist Gooch & Housego’s full year revenues rose 23% to a record £44.7m. The group saw a strong recovery in its core industrial market – up 37% on 2009 – and significant growth in the aerospace & defence and life sciences sectors. Adjusted profit before tax for the year to the end of September increased by 94% to £6.0m while reported pre-tax profits rose 258% to £5.1m. Adjusted operating profit increased by 66% to £6.9m and adjusted basic earnings per share rose by 101% to 23.1p. Net debt fell by 58% to £5.2m and the year ended with a record order book of £23.5m (2009: £15.1m).
CEO Gareth Jones said: “The combination of a strong recovery and success in winning new business presented us with some major challenges in 2010, but also provided the opportunity to put Gooch & Housego firmly back on course. I am pleased that we were able to meet these challenges and as a result deliver some very positive results. With an order book at record levels and demand still rising we look forward to 2011.” (Source: Google)

26 Nov 10. R&D spend by UK companies fell by 0.6% last year, government figures have revealed. Investment on new products and services dropped to £25.3bn according to the R&D scorecard published by the Department for Business (DBIS). The decline was down to lower spend by firms in banking, aerospace, telecommunications and defence sectors, the report found. Sectors that boosted their R&D outlay included automobiles and parts, software and computer services and technology hardware and equipment. Despite the drop, R&D spend by UK firms was still on a par with rivals in Germany, USA and France, DBIS said. Globally, the thousand companies most active in R&D spent a total of £344bn- a 1.9% decrease against the previous year.

24 Nov 10. U.S. defense contractors, under pressure to trim costs and boost revenue, are tapping into adjacent markets such as cybersecurity and intelligence gathering as they brace for a tougher budget environment. Acquisitions of small firms that excel in these areas has picked up and more deals are expected as the Obama administration shifts funding from traditional weapons to areas of unman

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