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Rheinmetall cuts targets after veto on Russian contract
by Staff Writers
Frankfurt (AFP) Aug 07, 2014

Rheinmetall, the German maker of auto parts and defence technology, said Thursday it is cutting its full-year targets after the government blocked a major contract with Russia.

"Due to the fact that the export license for the Mulino combat training centre in Russia has been withdrawn owing to changes in the political environment, it is no longer possible to fulfill the respective contract from today's perspective," Rheinmetall said in a statement.

"We assume that this will lead to financial burdens in the current fiscal year."

Consequently, Rheinmetall said it was now pencilling in full-year operating profit of 200-220 million euros ($267-294 million) for 2014, down from a previous projection of 230-250 million euros.

Full-year sales in its defence technology division would amount to 2.3 billion euros and overall group-wide sales would come out at 4.6-4.7 billion euros, instead of the original forecast of 4.8-4.9 billion euros, Rheinmetall said.

Earlier this week, German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he had withdrawn authorisation for a major deal to provide a fully equipped training camp to Russian forces due to the crisis in Ukraine.

According to media reports, the value of the contract was put at 100 million euros.

"It is not about money, it is a question of human lives," Gabriel said, adding that he feared "an escalation of violence" in east Ukraine which he did not "want to have to respond to".

Rheinmetall said it was " working hard to ensure that these burdens are kept as low as possible including the utilisation of all available legal options."

In the first six months, Rheinmetall booked operating profit of 30 million euros, compared with a year-earlier loss of 19 million euros, while first-half sales were up 8.0 percent at 2.131 billion euros.


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