BERLIN, March 2 (Xinhua) -- German defence contractor Rheinmetall said on Monday that in the fiscal year 2019, its generated sales increased by 1.7 percent to around 6.3 billion euros (7.01 billion U.S. dollars) compared to the previous year.
At the same time, the operating profit (EBIT before special items) reached a "new high" at 505 million euros, an increase by 2.9 percent, according to the provisional figures of the Dusseldorf-based defense contractor and automotive supplier.
"Rheinmetall has had another record year," said Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger. "In fiscal 2019, our sales reached a new high and we generated an operating profit of over 500 million euros for the first time".
However, the automotive business of Rheinmetall recorded decreasing orders and reduced revenues, with sales falling by 6.6 percent to 2.7 billion euros, according to the company.
Sales figures in the automotive business did not include contributions from the joint ventures in China, which saw sales grow by 15.8 percent to 1 billion euros despite a decline of 8.4 percent in automotive production in China, according to Rheinmetall.
The results for the fiscal year 2019 were "driven by the Group's activities in the military business", Rheinmetall noted.
Rheinmetall's defense business generated sales of 3.5 billion euros, a growth of 9.4 percent. According to Rheinmetall, the group's operating profit increased by 35 percent and reached 343 million euros.
"In our role as an international system provider for armed forces, we are benefiting from the super cycle in the defense technology business gifted to us by the pressing backlog in military procurement," said Papperger. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S. dollars)