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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Profits up for US defence and aerospace firm General Dynamics

Sales in the aerospace division, its biggest, rose 4 per cent to $8.13bn as it delivered 30 Gulfstream aircraft in the quarter, up from 28 a year earlier.

General Dynamics' earnings soared in the fourth quarter. Mike Blake/Reuters
General Dynamics' earnings soared in the fourth quarter. Mike Blake/Reuters

Aerospace and defence company General Dynamics beat expectations for fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by higher sales for its combat systems unit that makes tanks.

Although revenue grew to $8.28 billion from $7.65bn last year, it was below expectations for $8.38bn.

The company's shares fell 1.68 per cent to $204.00 in pre-market trading.

Sales in the tank-making combat systems unit rose 7.6 per cent to $5.95bn. In December, the General Dynamics unit was awarded a $2.6bn contract for upgrading M1A1 configured Abrams vehicles and for upgrading M1A1 vehicles.

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Sales in the aerospace division, its biggest, rose 4 per cent to $8.13bn as it delivered 30 Gulfstream aircraft in the quarter, up from 28 a year earlier.

General Dynamics is expected to benefit from a move by the US military to increase spending after Defence Secretary Jim Mattis unveiled the "National Defence Strategy" on Friday that put countering China and Russia at the centre of a new strategy.

Shares of US defence companies have rallied since November on US President Donald Trump's election promise to spend more on defence.

Earnings from continuing operations rose to $636 million, or $2.10 per share, in the quarter ended December 31, from $570m, or $1.89 per share, a year earlier.

The company recorded a $119m one-time, non-cash charge in the quarter related to US tax changes.

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