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Rheinmetall 9-month Operating Earnings Rise; Lowers FY19 Revenue Growth Outlook

German defense contractor Rheinmetall AG (RNMBF.PK) reported Thursday that its operating earnings for the first nine months of 2019 rose 3.9 percent to 262 million euros from 252 million euros in the previous-year period. Earnings per share increased 5 percent to 3.77 euros from 3.59 euros last year.

Consolidated sales for the nine months rose 3.1 percent to 4.29 billion euros from 4.16 billion euros last year. Sales were up by 2.1 percent after adjustment for currency effects.

The Group's sales increase related entirely to the significant growth in the Defence sector, where sales were 232 million euros higher in the first three quarters.

By contrast, sales in the Automotive sector were 100 million euros lower than the previous year's figure, owing to the declining trend in global automotive production.

Rheinmetall had orders worth 9.183 billion euros on its books as of September 30, 2019 compared with 9.315 billion euros as of September 30, 2018.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, Rheinmetall Group currently expects sales growth to be weaker than previously forecast due to the downturn in global automotive production.

Based on sales of around 6.1 billion euros in fiscal 2018, Rheinmetall Group now expects its fiscal 2019 sales to grow - organically and before currency effects - by slightly more than 1 percent in fiscal 2019. Earlier, the Group had forecast sales growth of 4 percent.

However, the company maintained its forecast for fiscal 2019 consolidated operating margin of 8 percent.

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