Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 16:21 UK

Production switch hits Lockheed

Lockheed Martin F-35
Lockheed is moving resources towards the F-35

A shift in production to a new fighter jet model has hit revenues at US defence group Lockheed Martin.

Revenues for the three months to 30 September were down 4.5% from a year earlier to $10.58bn (6.23bn).

Revenues were hit by Lockheed moving resources to the new F-35 jet fighter from the older F-16.

Profit rose 2% to $782m, helped by strong sales at its information systems unit and a one-off $44m gain from the sale of its rocket launch business.

Leading the decline in revenue was its core aeronautics division which makes fighter planes and other military aircraft. Sales there fell 13% to $2.9bn.

Lockheed Martin said it expected sales to grow again when orders and production for the F-35 start to build up.

As a result, it increased its guidance for annual group-wide sales.

The firm's information technology systems division saw quarterly sales rise 9% to $2.95bn.

"Operationally, we couldn't ask for much better results," said Lockheed's chief financial officer Bruce Tanner.

Shares in the firm were down 6% in early trading in New York.

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