Exports to 29 countries boost profits of Turkish state-run arms firm
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
A group of Turkish soldiers pose in front a ‘Fırtına’ model howitzer produced by MKEK during a military showcase in this file photo. The state-controlled company is carrying out dozens of projects for the Turkish military as well as its international customers. AA photo
The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) has broken its own record in profits.
MKEK increased its net profit 180 percent to 165 million Turkish Liras in 2011, according to company data gather by Anatolia news agency.
MKEK is a state-controlled corporation with a mandate to supply the Turkish Armed Forces with guns, ammunition, missiles, rockets and explosives.
The total turnover of MKEK rose to 850 million liras last year, up from 650 million liras the previous year.
The total value of the orders placed by the National Defense Ministry, military departments, Interior Ministry, Security General Directorate and Turkish National Intelligence Service amounted to 350.8 million liras in 2011.
The export volume of MKEK is on the rise in recent years with new models developed in cooperation with universities and private industrial firms.
S Arabia biggest customer
Saudi Arabia topped the list of countries receiving the most guns and ammunition exports from MKEK with 44.6 million liras. Saudi Arabia is also the leading exports market for the overall Turkish defense industry, according to oficial figures. The oil-rich Arab country bought SS30 rockets particularly and a great number of cartridges from MKEK last year.
Bahrain followed Saudi Arabia with 17.2 million liras and Oman with 7.1 million liras. These two countries mostly imported cartridges and bullets.
The export markets of MKEK spanned 29 countries from Panama and Switzerland to the Philippines and U.S. with a total turnover of nearly 98.5 million liras.
Total profits of MKEK including domestic sales hit 165 million liras. MKEK also signed 630 million liras of export sales contracts in 2011.
MKEK is collaborating with 28 universities on various projects. The public corporation is currently carrying out 127 research and development projects including Altay, the national tank project, and modern infantry and automatic rifles.
The budgets regarding these projects total 283 million liras.
MKEK has recently revealed that domestic gun sales are rising rapidly. Turkish citizens have spent roughly 353.5 million liras on guns in the last five years, according to MKEK data.