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NEWS IN BRIEF

02 May 03. Germany’s public finance watchdog believes the planned Airbus A400M European military transport plane is too costly and Berlin should cut further its already reduced order for 60 units, Die Welt newspaper said. The newspaper also said the Federal Court of Auditors believed Germany should postpone an order for Eurofighter aircraft and ground its current fleet of ageing military Transall transporters in order to save money to pay for the Airbus order.

08 May 03. Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK – News) fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed on stronger military sales and revenue from acquisitions, and named a new chief executive officer. Alliant said earnings from continuing
operations were $35.3m, or 90 cents per share, up from $26.8m, or 69 cents, in the same period a year ago. Last year’s results included a charge of 11 cents per share for amortization of goodwill. On a net basis, the company earned $35.2mm, or 90 cents a share, (2002: $25.6m, or 66 cents). Orders rose by more than one-third in fiscal 2003 to $1.9bn from $1.4bn.

28 Apr 03. Arotech Corporation (NasdaqNM: ARTX) announced that a prototype zinc-air battery developed by its Electric Fuel subsidiary passed a milestone in testing a Marine Dragon Eye unmanned drone at Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia. In ground testing, the battery, developed with partial funding from the US Army, showed it was capable of powering the UAV Dragon Eye. The Company believes its zinc air battery has the potential to greatly extend the mission duration of this reconnaissance aircraft. Electric Fuel’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) batteries are high-power, lightweight versions of its most advanced zinc-air cells, which have specific energy of 400 Wh/kg.

12 May 03. Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA – News) has agreed to reduce by 6 percent the price of a multibillion deal to lease 100 767 aircraft to the Air Force as refuelling tankers, defense officials said on Monday. The officials, who asked not to be named, said Boeing officials had agreed to trim the price of each 767-ER200 aircraft by $9m to about $141m each.

May 03. Lucent Technologies Inc. has cut its operating expenses by 74% and boosted its gross margins since initiating a restructuring program in 2001.
Lucent’s chief financial officer said the restructuring is playing a critical role in the company’s attempt to reach profitability by the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30. He said the company’s break-even level remains at $2.4 billion in quarterly revenue, down from a break-even of $5 billion in 2001. Lucent has cut costs by streamlining operations, eliminating manufacturing facilities, altering its product portfolio and associated research-and-development costs, and eliminating nonstrategic product lines. The telecommunications equipment-maker has also reduced its work force 64% to 38,500 from 106,000. Lucent will lay off an additional 3,500 employees by the end of the year, Mr. D’Amelio said.

25 Apr 03. EADS announced the formation of EADS North America and integration of the Company’s wholly owned U.S. operating units into EADS North America, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Ralph Crosby, Chairman and CEO of EADS North America, and member of the EADS Executive Committee, will oversee the activities of this new entity. EADS North America also announced the appointment of its CFO, Chris Emerson, and its General Counsel, Pierre Cardin.

14 May 03. Finmeccanica SpA (I.MEC) Wednesday reported a slight rise in first-quarter earnings, thanks to strong performances at its electronics and defense businesses. Net profit rose by 12% to EUR14.4m in the first quarter, from EUR12.9m in the same period last year. Finmeccanica said sales rose to EUR1.85bn from EUR1.61bn, thanks to the company’s purchase of defense communications unit Marconi Mobile and space unit Telespazio. As a result of the acquisitions, however, net debt at the end of March didn’t fall, staying unchanged from December at EUR346m.

13 May 03

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