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Harris Corp eyes new markets, aims to double sales

The Florida-based company also spends over $1 billion in R&D annually-says official.

September 29, 2010 2:51 by

Telecommunications equipment supplier Harris Corporation  is see growth in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia and may make acquisitions as it aims to double international sales, its top executive said on Wednesday.

International sales, a quarter of total sales, will grow faster than U.S. as the major defence sector supplier invests more overseas, CEO Howard Lance told Reuters.

“For Harris to be a global company by 2020, we need to have 40 to 50 percent international sales to give us the diversity. Growth will be, organically through joint ventures and some through acquisitions,” Lance said.

Harris Corp has set up its first Middle East joint venture in Abu Dhabi partnering with Atlas Telecom, a privately-owned firm in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE will be the regional hub for Harris Corp.

With a market value of $5.75 billion, Harris Corp is looking at acquisitions in the energy, healthcare and technology sectors, Lance said, but did not disclose any targets.

“We will continue to do acquisitions and to do that we will continue to do investments. We wouldn’t mind the cost because of our strong balance sheet,” he said.

The Florida-based company also spends over $1 billion in R&D annually, he said.

As U.S. defence spending is expected to slow or even shrink, consolidation in the defence sector is driving the need to grow overseas, Lance said.

“Information is the greatest weapon today and we are in a bit of a sweet spot in the overall defence market,” he said.

Gulf Arab states are in a huge arms buying spree as well, beefing up their security systems in recent years due to the growing threat from Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho, editing by Reed Stevenson)

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1 Comment

  1. interesting on September 29, 2010 5:12 pm

    My guess is that $1B in R&D is some sort of misquote. If they are close to other defence companies one would expect ~4% in R&D or $235M. $1B, or 17% R&D, is a very high number to control and execute properly. Is more R&D really better or is it just throwing $$ at the problem.


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