MILAN — Italian aerospace and defense giant Finmeccanica said March 27 that it posted a 2.3 billion euro ($3.1 billion) net loss for 2011, saying it had been an “extraordinarily difficult year.”
CEO Giuseppe Orsi said the loss was “a necessary preamble to allow Finmeccanica to take a new course.”
The company said in a statement the loss was due to “exceptional events” and “non-recurring charges.”
Finmeccanica, which is majority controlled by the Italian state, registered a net profit of 557 million euros in 2010.
“We carried out a comprehensive but necessary review of the group’s industrial strategy and business and technological approach. Inevitably the balance sheet we are presenting today reflects this,” Orsi said.
He added: “2012 will be characterized by an improvement in our key balance sheet indicators and will be a year of calibrated transition towards a new Finmeccanica.”
The company said it had been hit by defense budget cuts and difficulties in its transport and aerospace divisions.
Its revenues dropped 7.0 percent to 17.32 billion euros.
Orsi took over in 2011 after the resignation of Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, who was brought down by a corruption scandal.
Orsi’s plan is for the company to concentrate on activities in which it can be a global leader and sell off assets worth about 1 billion euros by the end of 2012, particularly in the transport sector.
Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore said that Japanese industrial group Hitachi was interested in buying AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS, two of Finmeccanica’s rail transport companies.
Finmeccanica said earlier it would not be paying out dividends for 2011.
The report pushed Finemaccanica’s share price up 10.88 percent on March 27.