General Dynamics has booked its first order related to the war in Ukraine as a government contracted the US aerospace and defence group for munitions.
Chief executive Phebe Novakovic confirmed the order during a third-quarter earnings call with analysts on Wednesday, but did not provide details. She said the company received munitions and ordnance orders totalling $370mn in the quarter.
For Ukraine’s fight against invading Russian forces, GD anticipates the US army “telling us they want more ammunition and munitions, so we’re working with them to ramp up production,” Novakovic said.
There is increasing interest in GD’s land weapons systems, including its Stryker, Abrams, and MPF battle tanks, she continued. In August, Poland placed a $1.1bn Abrams order.
GD earned $3.26 a share on revenue of $10bn in the quarter through September, up from $3.07 on revenue of $9.6bn the prior year. Analysts expected $3.15 a share on revenue of $9.9bn.
Demand for private jets contributed to a 5 per cent increase in GD’s quarterly profit to $902mn. Wealthy people took to private flying during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and their interest remains elevated.
Novakovic said the Gulfstream jet maker entered the “hottest” demand market she’d ever see in February 2021, and while third-quarter demand “was not as super-heated,” there has been strong demand from the US, Fortune 500 companies, the Middle East, and south-east Asia, including from first-time buyers, despite a global economic slowdown.
However, the aerospace group’s defence business was hampered by a lack of contracting officers for its government customers.
Many of GD’s technology mission systems customers “have a serious shortage of contracting officers that have hampered their” follow through on orders, Novakovic said.
“In addition, quite understandably, customer focus has been redirected in some areas to meet the more urgent demands of the Ukraine.”