Italian aerospace and defense company Finmeccanica (IW 1000/154) returned to profit in the first quarter after losses in 2011, saying there were "initial and encouraging positive signs" from its restructuring.
The state-controlled group made a net profit of 25 million euros (US$33 million) in the first three months compared to seven million euros in the same quarter of last year -- with an overall loss in 2011 of 2.3 billion euros (US $3.02 billion).
The profit result was far better than the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who had been expecting 13.8 million euros.
Sales for the quarter, however, fell by 4% to 3.686 billion euros while its gross EBITA revenues plunged 20% to 173 million euros.
The company's orders also fell by 9% to 3.48 billion euros.
"The results of the first quarter of 2012... show some initial and encouraging positive signs regarding the progress of the reorganization and efficiency improvement plans," Finmeccanica boss Giuseppe Orsi said.
"2012 is still a calibrated year of transition within a challenging and medium-term process of recovery," he added.
The group, however, confirmed its forecast of gross revenues of 1.1 billion euros (US$1.4 billion) over the year as a whole.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012