German gun maker targets more sales to U.S. civilians

German gun maker Heckler & Koch will try to sell more guns to civilians in the United States, forced by Germany’s restrictions on arms exports to the Middle East to look for revenue growth elsewhere, its majority owner told a newspaper. …

“If politics force us to generate practically no sales in the Middle East, we have to look for alternatives,” daily Die Welt quoted Andreas Heeschen, who owns 51 percent of Heckler & Koch, as saying.

“We will expand our NATO business and the U.S. civilian business. We are the Porsche of weapons on that market,” said Heeschen, a 55-year-old German investor who bought the firm from British Aerospace – now BAE Systems – in 2002. …

Heckler & Koch, which listed some of its shares on Euronext via a private placement last year, is one of the world’s most high-profile gun makers. Its HK416 assault rifle is said to have been used to kill Osama bin Laden and its G36 rifle is standard issue for armies across the globe.

However, German restrictions on arms exports to the Middle East caused Heckler & Koch’s annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to drop to around 25 million euros ($27 million) from 60 million in 2014.

Gun maker Heckler & Koch targets more sales to U.S. civilians – Die Welt