British aerospace group BAE Systems said Thursday that 2014 net profits more than quadrupled on lower impairments, but underlying earnings fell on weak Western defence spending.
Earnings after taxation, or net profit, surged to £740 million ($1.14 billion, 1.0 billion euros) last year, BAE Systems said in a results statement.
That compared with £168 million in 2013, when the group's performance was rocked by a vast £887-million impairment charge on its US business.
But underlying earnings before interest, tax and one-off items dropped 11.5 percent to £1.7 billion. That compared with expectations of £1.73 billion, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Sales meanwhile sank 8.5 percent to £16.64 billion.
The group's 2014 performance was also hit by adverse exchange rate moves and last year's one-off boost from the so-called Salam deal with Saudi Arabia on improved pricing of Eurofighter jets.
BAE added that underlying profits were "broadly unchanged" after allowing for the exchange rate translation and the exceptional 2013 price settlement for Salam.
On a brighter note, the group expressed optimism over the outlook.
BAE forecast earnings per share -- a key measure of performance -- would be "marginally higher" in 2015 owing to anticipated new aircraft and naval orders.
“In 2014, BAE Systems delivered a solid overall performance, in line with guidance," added Chief Executive Ian King in the statement.
"We continue to win significant new business with over £10 billion of new orders from the UK and US for the third successive year.
"As a result, the large order backlog of £40.5 billion continues to provide good, multi-year visibility across many of our businesses."
He added: "We believe US budgets are now relatively stable, with some early indications of a modest improvement in 2016."