Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab has reported a 4% drop in sales in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In the three-month period ending in December 2021, the company’s sales totalled $1.26bn (Skr11.9bn). The figure was $1.32bn (Skr12.49bn) in the same quarter a year ago.

This comes as Saab reported decreased activity in the company’s civil aviation unit while the defence segment recorded strong business.

Order bookings in Q4 2021 were $1.29bn (Skr12.22bn), down 33% from $1.92bn (Skr18.1bn) in Q4 2020. Despite this, the company recorded a strong demand for small and medium sized orders.

Saab’s order book now amounts to $11.12bn (Skr105bn).

The company’s quarterly operating income (EBIT) increased by 40% to $110m (Skr1.08bn), from $81.16m (Skr766m) on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.

Gross income also increased from $230m (Skr2.14bn) in Q4 2021, to $250m (Skr2.4bn) in Q4 2020. Net income in this period was $83.81m (Skr791m).

For the full year 2021, Saab’s sales totalled $4.15bn (Skr39.15bn). This represents an 11% increase, compared to $3.75bn (Skr35.43bn) recorded in 2020.

The firm’s annual operating income (EBIT) also increased from $140m (Skr1.32bn), to $310m (Skr2.88bn).

Saab president and CEO Micael Johansson said: “In 2021, we strengthened our platform for future growth by continuing to grow our order intake. This was despite the fact that the HX-fighter campaign, in Finland, favoured a US capability over a strong Swedish offer.

“With a consistent focus on improved project execution and efficiency, we delivered on our targets for 2021.”

Johansson also highlighted that the risks of supply chain shortages related to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to linger.

He added: “We proactively manage the challenges by new ways of working, which we learned and implemented during the pandemic. By this, we have largely mitigated the impact on our business.”

Saab recently received a contract to deliver RBS 70 NG short-range air defence systems to the Argentine Armed Forces.