Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) posted $8.6 billion in sales for the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year and a 3 percent increase in organic sales for the full year ended Dec. 31, due to strong performance of the company’s space and mission systems segments.
The Falls Church, Virginia-based aerospace and defense contractor said Q4 net awards totaled $9.8 billion, including a $3.2 billion contract for Space Launch System booster production and operations work and a $1.5 billion contract for restricted programs.
The company’s full-year net awards reached $32.1 billion, while its total backlog was $76 billion.
The space systems business posted a 4 percent increase in sales for the fourth quarter to $2.6 billion and saw its full-year 2021 sales rise 21 percent to $10.6 billion, driven by higher sales in its space and launch and strategic missiles business areas.
Kathy Warden, chairman, CEO and president of Northrop and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, responded to an analyst’s question during the company’s earnings call saying the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program has been a key component of growth within its space systems segment in the last two years.
“So we really are seeing space growth to be quite balanced, even in 2023 — or 2022, but even more so as we look forward to 2023. And we expect it to continue to be one of, if not the fastest-growing sector for the foreseeable future,” Warden added.
Northrop posted an 8 percent increase in full year transaction-adjusted earnings per share and generated transaction-adjusted free cash flow of $3.1 billion for 2021.
The contractor returned $4.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in 2021.
Warden said the company continued to deliver strong financial results in 2021 and support customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Looking forward, our business remains well aligned to growing global defense budgets, and with a robust backlog and new competitive wins, we expect continued sales growth,” she added.