Northrop Grumman has reported a 4% drop in sales for the first quarter of 2022, due to labour shortages and Covid-19 related supply chain disruptions.

In the three-month period that ended on 31 March, the company’s total sales amounted to $8.8bn. The figure represents a $360m decline from the $9.16bn recorded in the first quarter of 2021.

Total operating income in the quarter was $897m, compared to $2.8bn in the same period a year ago. The drop was attributed to unallocated corporate expenses and a reduction in the FAS/CAS operating adjustment, among others.

The company’s net earnings fell by 56% from $2.19bn in Q1 2021, to $955m in Q1 2022.

Northrop Grumman’s net awards in the quarter totalled $8.5bn. The company’s backlog at the end of the quarter was $75.8bn.

Among the company’s business segments, Aeronautics Systems recorded a 10% drop in quarterly sales to $2.7bn.

Defense Systems’ quarterly sales fell 18% in the first quarter of 2022 to $1.28bn, primarily due to a reduction in sales following the divestment of IT services, while Mission System’s sales dropped by 4% year-on-year (YoY) to $2.49bn in the same period.

Space Systems sales were up by 13% to $2.85bn in Q1 2022, from $2.52bn in Q1 2021.

Northrop Grumman chairman, CEO and president Kathy Warden said: “Northrop Grumman’s first quarter results reflect strong performance and were in line with our expectations.

“Recent global geopolitical events underscore the relevance of our capabilities. Our strategy remains focused on maintaining technology leadership and delivering our customers the innovative and affordable solutions they need to protect freedoms, deter broader aggression, and contain global conflicts.”

Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman made a minority investment in radar platform company Echodyne.