The French group said quarterly revenue increased 1.9% on a like-for-like basis to 3.917 billion euros ($ 4.70 billion), driven by demand for military radars and cybersecurity and offsetting the drop in l civil aerospace activity strongly impacted by the pandemic.
Order intake jumped 31% to 3.416 billion euros thanks to sales of French Rafale to Greece and France, for which Thales manufactures radars, and a Franco-Italian air defense system, as well as a broadband satellite for Indonesia.
Thales confirmed full-year guidance which includes revenue of 17.1 to 17.9 billion euros and new orders exceeding revenue.
Thales declined to comment on the fate of its rail signaling business after Reuters announced last month that the company was seeking buyers under a potential deal worth at least € 1.5 billion , while Thales streamlined its operations.
“We never comment on this type of rumor,” CFO Pascal Bouchiat told reporters.
He noted that Thales is in the middle of a routine annual review of its strategy, but did not give further details.
Thales has in the past championed a diverse model split between aerospace, defense, transportation and security technologies, saying it held up well during the COVID-19 crisis.
The transport unit, the smallest of Thales’s four main divisions, saw first quarter revenue increase 0.5% to 344 million euros as new orders rose 67% to 259 millions of euros.
Analysts on average expected total revenue of 3.762 billion euros and orders of 3.129 billion in the first quarter, according to a consensus forecast established by the company.
Bouchiat said Thales had not seen any significant impact from a global shortage of semiconductors used by its identity and bank payment business, but was taking steps to add new suppliers.
During this time, the impact may increase in the short term.
“Overall, the situation is well under control, with perhaps a slightly stronger impact in the second quarter,” Bouchiat said.
“The market is very tight and the production capacity is saturated … with production times up by 12 months,” he added.