Finmeccanica to sell assets, cuts outlook


Italy’s biggest defence company Finmeccanica SpA trimmed its full-year forecast and said it will sell assets to the tune of about 1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) to help cut debt.

The group, which has been hit by concerns over the outlook for defence budgets, said it expected revenue for the full year of between 17.0 billion euros and 17.5 billion. In July it had forecast a range of 17.5 billion and 18.0 billion euros.

The group, which said it expected to post a loss of around 200 million euros before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) for the year, said it did not propose to pay a dividend on 2011 results, Reuters reports.
“These are uncertain times and they call for extraordinary measures,” CEO Giuseppe Orsi said.

Finmeccanica shares have underperformed this year because of their exposure to Italy and defence markets as well as the disclosure of “structural” problems in two units, including its key aeronautical division.

The Rome-based company has also been hit hard by turmoil in Libya, a key emerging market it was banking on to generate billions of euros in contracts, and has faced unwelcome scrutiny in connection with a slush funds probe by Rome prosecutors.