US-based aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman has reported a 6% increase in sales in the first quarter of the year.

The figure increased from $8.6bn to $9.2bn on a year-on-year basis.

The increase was attributed to the increase in sales at the Space Systems, Mission Systems and Aeronautics Systems segments, but the Defence Systems segment recorded a 17% drop in sales, primarily due to the impact of the company’s IT services divestiture.

Northrop Grumman’s first-quarter net earnings increased by 153% from $868m, or $5.15 for each diluted share, in the first quarter of last year, to $2.2bn, or $13.43 for each diluted share.

The company’s transaction adjusted net earnings came to $1.08bn in the quarter.

In the first three months of the year, Northrop Grumman’s total operating income was $2.8bn. The figure was $934m in the same period a year earlier.

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Defence Systems’ quarterly operating income fell by 11%, from $198m to $177m, on a year-on-year basis.

Based on overall strong first-quarter results, Northrop Grumman has raised its sales and transaction-adjusted earnings per share (EPS) guidance.

The company’s sales outlook increased to between $35.3bn and $35.7bn, where it had previously been between $35.1bn and $35.5bn. It also expects its full-year adjusted EPS to be between $24 and $24.50.

Northrop Grumman chairman, CEO and president Kathy Warden said: “First-quarter results are a strong start to the year and a continuation of the positive performance we delivered last year.

“Our team booked competitive new awards and generated higher sales, earnings and cash. These strong operational results, coupled with portfolio shaping, enabled value-creating capital deployment for our shareholders.

“Based on our strong first quarter results and solid outlook for the year, we are raising our sales and EPS guidance for this year.”

In February, Northrop Grumman and Polish firm Transbit integrated a non-US radio communications system with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

The Transbit R-460A radio relay high-capacity line-of-sight (HCLOS) radio communications system was also tested.