20 Companies Profiting the Most From War

Print Email

Source: Jeoffrey Maitem / Getty Images

15. Textron
> Country: United States
> Arms sales: $4.8 billion
> Total sales: $13.8 billion
> Profit: $843.0 million
> Employees: 36,000

Textron is a Rhode Island-based aerospace and defense company. Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, manufactures a range of military aircraft, including the Osprey, Valor, and Zulu helicopters. In addition, Textron develops and manufactures unmanned air and surface vehicles, armored combat vehicles, and missiles and missile defense systems. Textron has either designed or built the reentry vehicle for the entirety of the U.S. Air Force’s current arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Despite the substantial size and scope of the company’s defense division, the majority of Textron’s business is unrelated to arms sales and military services. The company has a lucrative financial services division as well as a commercial and industrial fuel systems segment. Military products and services accounted for just 34.5% of Textron’s revenue in 2016.

Source: David Paul Morris / Getty Images

14. Bechtel Corp.
> Country: United States
> Arms sales: $4.9 billion
> Total sales: N/A
> Profit: N/A
> Employees: 53,000

Based in San Francisco, construction and civil engineering company Bechtel operates in multiple businesses including infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, and defense. Bechtel has been a defense contractor for over 50 years, providing missile defense services, and developing and maintaining bases and other infrastructure critical to military operations. The company’s current projects include a missile defense and space surveillance program at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site in the Marshall Islands. Additionally, Bechtel was recently awarded a project management contract with the UK Ministry of Defense to improve efficacy and efficiency.

Bechtel is currently one of the largest private companies in the United States. Arms sales and defense services revenue alone totalled $4.9 billion in the 2016 calendar year.

Source: OAK

13. United Aircraft Corp.
> Country: Russia
> Arms sales: $5.2 billion
> Total sales: $6.2 billion
> Profit: -$67.0 million
> Employees: N/A

Established by decree in 2006, United Aircraft Corp. is the largest defense contractor in Russia by arms sales revenue and the 13th largest in the world. The company is the result of the merger of several aircraft manufacturers and other related companies. Though the company also manufactures commercial aircraft, the bulk of its revenue comes from military aircraft sales. While the company has several international clients along with joint ventures in India and Italy, the Russian Foreign Ministry of Defense has accounted for the majority of the company’s military aircraft business since 2013. Among the many aircraft the company manufactures is the iconic Mikoyan MiG fighter jet.

Despite billions in revenue, United Aircraft Corp. is the only company on this list to report a negative gross profit margin in 2016. That year, the company’s costs exceeded revenue by $67 million. The company expects to reach a minimum of 10% profitability by 2025.

Source: huntingtoningalls.com

12. Huntington Ingalls Industries
> Country: United States
> Arms sales: $6.7 billion
> Total sales: $7.1 billion
> Profit: $573.0 million
> Employees: 37,000

Spinning off from Northrop Grumman in 2011, Huntington Ingalls Industries is a far younger company than most major defense contractors. Still, the Virginia-based contractor is the largest military shipbuilding company in the United States. The company’s plant in Newport News is the sole manufacturer of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers — the largest warships in the world — and one of only two nuclear submarine manufacturers. The company also has a shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which is responsible for the construction of about 70% of all U.S. Navy warships.

The private and commercial sector accounts for a considerable share of revenue for the majority of companies on this list. Huntington Ingalls is an exception, however, as weapons sales account for about 95% of its annual revenue.

Source: Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

11. United Technologies Corp.
> Country: United States
> Arms sales: $6.9 billion
> Total sales: $57.2 billion
> Profit: $5.4 billion
> Employees: N/A

A multinational conglomerate, United Technologies Corp. is the third largest company on this list with over $57 billion in total revenue in 2016. Arms sales and military services accounted for a relatively small 12% share of the company’s revenue that year. Still, the $6.9 billion the company made on defense contracts in 2016 was more than all but 10 other companies worldwide.

A considerable share of arms sales came through subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, a military aircraft engine manufacturer. Sales from defense contracts at Pratt & Whitney, which works with 34 militaries worldwide and manufactures the engines that power the F-22, F-15, and F-16 fighter jets, totalled $4.5 billion in 2016. United Technologies’ non-military subsidiaries include the Otis elevator company and the Carrier climate control company.