HAL sales turnover crosses $2 bn

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Bangalore, Apr 3: Public sector aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has cruised past the US Dollar two billion mark and achieved a sales turnover of Rs 8,350 crore during the financial year 2007-08. Posting impressive financial figures, the aviation giant had doubled its turnover in the last three years from 2004-05. Last year, the turnover stood at Rs 7,780 crore.

Releasing the financial results at a press conference here today, company Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K Baweja said HAL had received major orders worth Rs 23,215 crore, including 159 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) from the defence forces, during the year. The total order book position stood at Rs 45,100 crore.

He said HAL had posted an impressive 22.16 per cent growth in gross margin to earn a net profit of Rs 1,500 crore in the just ended fiscal. Its manufacturing grew by 12.85 per cent, exports by 20.14 per cent at Rs 325 crore, while PBT grew by 23.28 per cent. Mr Baweja said the company's crowning product, the Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas', had 'crossed over the hump' and would be ready for induction into the Indian Air Force soon.

Similarly, another key product, the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopter 'Dhruv', which had already been inducted into the IAF, was maturing into the third model. The Mark-III 16-seater helicopter was weaponised and equipped with 'Shakti' engine. ''The weapon firing tests would begin within a few days,'' he said. HAL had completed building the first of the 42 Hawk jet trainers at its facility in the city. ''The first piece is ready and the rest would be built in the next two years,'' he said. In a multi-billion Dollar order, India would purchase 66 such planes from the UK-based BAE. The mother company would supply 24 fully built jet trainers, while the rest would be assembled along with HAL made components.

UNI

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