Defence and technology company Denel is now ranked among the top 100 global defence manufacturers, and the second largest in the southern hemisphere.
The ranking is done by the international publication, Defense News, and based on an analysis of revenue achieved during the 2014 financial year. This is the first time Denel has entered the global top 100 list in the company’s history.
Group chief executive Riaz Saloojee says the ranking reflects the rapid growth in the company’s revenue over the past four years, from R3.2 billion in 2011 to R4.6 billion in 2014. Since the publication of the report, Denel announced a further 28% increase in revenue for the 2014/15 financial year.
“As a state-owned company, our primary focus is to ensure the strategic independence of the South African National Defence Force and enable it to protect the country’s territorial integrity and participate in peacekeeping operations on the continent,” says Saloojee.
“However, it is also important to note that exports now constitute 52% of Denel’s revenue. This earns valuable foreign exchange for South Africa and creates a greater awareness about the qualities and capabilities of the country’s manufacturing sector.”
According to the ranking, Denel is now the second largest defence manufacturer in the southern hemisphere, behind the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate, Embraer, which occupies the 55th position on the global list.
Denel’s 17% growth in revenue also places it 13th on the list of companies in terms of year-on-year growth. “The global defence markets remain constrained, but we are confident that we can maintain the growth trajectory for the foreseeable future,” says Saloojee.
The company has a confirmed order book of more than R35 billion and is also pursuing further opportunities to the value of R37 billion. This is largely focused on Denel’s proven strengths in the design and manufacturing of artillery, ammunition, missile and military vehicles.
Saloojee says the successful deployment of its products, such as the Rooivalk combat helicopter in African peacekeeping operations, has focused global attention on South Africa’s capabilities. In the past year, it has invested R467 million in research and development and intends to grow its presence in the command-and-control and maritime environment.