Profits up at defence firm Northrop

City A.M. Reporter
DEFENCE contractor Northrop Grumman posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit aided by lower pension costs and better performance at most of its divisions.

The supplier of spy planes and communications and intelligence work is moving to improve operations and lower costs as the US Defence Department, its main customer, looks to reduce overheads and make weapons programmes more affordable.

Northrop Grumman plans to sell-off or spin-off its shipmaking business, a division that has been a drag on results in the past.

“Fourth-quarter results were stronger than anticipated with robust profit margins,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard said in a note to clients.

Segment income rose 11 per cent in aerospace, 66 per cent in information systems and 23 per cent in technical services. Pension expenses came to $1m (£621,231) in the current quarter, down from $87m a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter net earnings of $376m, or $1.27 a share compared with $413m, or $1.31 a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations also were $1.27 a share against $1.19 a share a year earlier.