Czech defense companies post huge profits amid rising tensions across Europe

Several arms manufacturers in the Czech Republic have posted record revenue, with Ukraine and NATO allies being their best customers

editor: Remix News
author: Dénes Albert
Wikimedia Commons

Reported revenues for last year revealed that several Czech arms manufacturers are flush with cash in the wake of rising tensions across the world and, in particular, the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Colt CZ, a holding company for several firearms brands, reported revenue of nearly CZK 15 billion (€590 million) last year. However, the growth in sales and profits was also confirmed to Novinka by the Czechoslovak Group (CSG) and Omnipol.

Omnipol Group spokeswoman Marika Přinosilová, a manufacturer of VERA radars, RF40 radios, and the Let L-410 Turbolet and Aero L-39NG aircraft, told the newspaper that her group “significantly increased its revenues and profits in 2023, partly thanks to increasing support from the domestic and foreign defense industry.”

Andrej Čírtek, a spokesperson for the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), the Czech Republic’s largest defense industry company, had similarly good things to say. Last year, he reported a huge increase in revenues and profits on a year-over-year basis, “driven mainly by large-caliber ammunition and above-ground military equipment,” most of which was supplied to NATO countries and Ukraine. CSG expects the industry to continue to receive huge orders in the coming years, and it is investing hundreds of millions of euros at home, in Slovakia, and Spain to “build new factories, install production lines, and hire new employees.”

The huge annual increase in revenue and profit is even more significant considering the group almost doubled its profits in 2022 when it managed to generate revenue of €980 million.

The revenues of handgun manufacturer Colt CZ also grew strongly last year. The war brought them €581 million in revenues and €76 million in net profit, some of which went to Hungary because Colt also produces in Kiskunfélegyháza. The company is planning to expand this year with the purchase of ammunition company Sellier & Bellot.

The STV arms group specializes mainly in the production of large-caliber ammunition, and its two plants in the Czech Republic have increased their production volume tenfold in the last two years. The majority of their customers are in Ukraine, but they also receive government orders from Europe, the U.S., and the Czech Republic and generated revenues of over €250 million last year. This year, however, they have set the bar higher, with an expected €404 million.

Czech arms exports have additionally been helped by the European Commission’s recent support for their ammunition manufacturing activities. Zeveta Bojkovice, famous for its hand grenades, cannot complain either: They managed to increase their sales by 30 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year.

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