Top Chinese defence firm posts 1.63 bn profit despite slowdown

Riding on China's massive military expansion and hefty defence budgets, the country's top weapons manufacturer has reported a profit of USD 1.63 billion despite a global economic slowdown.

The China North Industries Group Corp (NORINCO), the country's largest defence equipment manufacturer, said its profits jumped 18.7 per cent year on year last year.

Profits totalled 10.27 billion yuan (USD 1.63 billion) in 2012, up from 8.65 billion yuan in 2011, Zhang Guoqing, the company's general manager, said at an annual work meeting.

Revenues stood at 351 billion yuan, up 14.5 per cent from one year earlier, Zhang was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

He attributed the profit growth to the company's continuous technical innovation and lean management.

The company paid 10 billion yuan (USD 1.6 billion) in taxes and fees last year and filed 1,287 patent applications, obtaining approval for 595 of the patents, Zhang said.

The company produces precision strike systems, amphibious assault weapons and equipment, anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, anti-terrorism & anti-riot equipment as well as small arms, among others.

"NORINCO has won trust from clients for its high quality products and excellent services," the company's website says.

China which has the world's largest standing army of 2.3 million personnel has been scaling up its defence budgets in recent years. Last year it allocated USD 106 billion, increasing it from USD 92 billion in 2011.

Last year was a big year for China defence industries as the country's first aircraft carrier was launched besides new fighter jet to land on it as well a new stealth bomber and a host of new weaponry.

But at the same time, Chinese economy has slow down to about 7.5 per cent last year due to continuous decline in exports.

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