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Best first quarter: Heckler & Koch pistols are in demand all over the world

Best opening quarter
Heckler & Koch pistols are in demand all over the world

German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch reports the best first quarter in the entire history of the company. Although the increases in orders due to the war in Ukraine have not yet reached the budget, Russia’s neighbors are ordering more and more equipment.

Arms company Heckler & Koch reports a business boom. In the first quarter of 2022, sales grew by more than a fifth to 77.5 million euros compared to the same period last year, the company announced in Oberndorf in Baden-Württemberg. Net income more than doubled from € 3.3 million to € 8.1 million. “As far as we can look back, it was the best quarter of the year in the company’s history,” said CFO Björn Krönert. He cited a generally high demand for weapons and more efficient work processes as reasons for the positive figures.

H&K manufactures assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and pistols. The company had 1,086 employees at the end of March, 58 more than the previous year. There are 950 employees at the main plant in Oberndorf, the rest are employed in an assembly plant in the United States and in overseas sales companies. Competitors include CG Haenel from Thuringia, Sig Sauer from the US, FN Herstal from Belgium, Beretta from Italy and CZG from the Czech Republic.

The consequences of the war in Ukraine are not yet included in the quarterly data, so no country ordered weapons on short notice in response to the Russian attack on Oberndorf and received them in March. Such additional deals, which H&K does not discuss in detail, would not affect sales no earlier than fall due to production and delivery times.

Growing demand since the annexation of Crimea

Company chief Jens Bodo Koch said that demand from Russia’s neighbors has increased since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – this already high demand is likely to increase even more. “States on NATO’s eastern flank are stockpiling or upgrading their weapons, investing in equipment to ensure defense capability.” For reasons of confidentiality, the manager did not want to say which orders were placed in the first quarter of the year. However, it is known that in the past H&K has delivered assault rifles to Norway, Lithuania and Latvia, for example – these are framework agreements that can be rearranged.

According to reports, the business of privately sold rifles and pistols in the United States continues to develop robustly. For the full year, CEO Koch expects the result to be the same or slightly higher than in 2021. “The start of the year included special effects, so the numbers can’t be quadrupled to get the full-year data. “Some deliveries have been postponed from late 2021 to early 2022, so a lot more cash went into cash this quarter than initially anticipated.

The most important customer is the Bundeswehr. Heckler & Koch may soon get a major federal government contract for 120,000 assault rifles, the tender for which was launched in 2017. Competitor CG Haenel still wants to prevent it in court, but he’s having a hard time here.

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