March 1, 2019 / 9:40 AM / 4 months ago

Shares in Germany's Rheinmetall up 7 pct as defence profits surge

BERLIN, March 1 (Reuters) - Shares in Rheinmetall climbed after the German automotive parts maker reported a 23 percent rise in full-year operating profit and a record order backlog at its defence division.

Analysts at Bankhaus Lampe Bankhaus Lampe said there were “many positive surprises” in the fourth quarter, with figures much better than their forecasts and consensus expectations.

Shares in the Dusseldorf-based company, which makes armoured vehicles and military trucks, were up more than 7 percent at 0916 GMT.

“The defence sector’s business performance, especially the order intake, is increasingly characterised by the significantly increased demand in the military sector and by Rheinmetall’s successful positioning in major markets around the globe,” the company said.

Operating earnings of its defence unit reached 254 million euros in 2018, up 46 percent from a year before, it added.

For the whole group, operating profit was up 23 percent at 492 million euros ($559.06 million).

($1 = 0.8800 euros)

Reporting by Thomas Seythal Additional reporting by Anneli Palmen and Linda Pasquini Editing by Edmund Blair

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