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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
US defence spend boosts Lockheed
Lockheed Martin's Desert Hawk in Afghanistan
Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have boosted defence sales
US defence firm Lockheed Martin saw quarterly profits climb by 26%, boosted by record US defence spending and rising sales of commercial satellites.

Second-quarter profits reached $580m (314m), up from $461m in the same quarter of 2005 and ahead of forecasts.

US military activities in both Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to Lockheed's latest results.

A reduction in net corporate costs also helped boost profits, as pension costs fell and the firm sold land.

The firm's pensions bill declined from $101m in 2005's second quarter to $33m in 2006.

In addition, the sale of land in California earned the firm $20m.

Sales at the firm's space unit rose by 29% after two commercial satellites were sold to unnamed customers.

Meanwhile, the increase in projects using US military equipment helped sales at Lockheed's systems and information technology arm rise by 5% to around $5bn.

Renowned for fighter jets and missiles, the firm is however increasingly looking to civilian technology for growth.


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