Finmeccanica posts $1 billion loss in 2012 on DRS writedown

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Finmeccanica <SIFI.MI> reported on Tuesday a 786 million euro (669.7 billion pounds) net loss in 2012 mainly because of a goodwill writedown on its U.S. defence electronics unit DRS.

In the first set of results under new chief executive Alessandro Pansa, the state-owned defence contractor said it could sell asset to beef up its balance sheet and predicted a fall in 2013 revenues and broadly stable core profits.

Finmeccanica, Italy's second largest private sector employer, is undergoing a tough restructuring to focus on its core defence and aerospace activities and is battling to avoid credit rating downgrades.

In a statement, Finmeccanica said the impariment on DRS was 993 million euros. In 2011 its net loss totalled 2.3 billion euros after a heavy provision on its Boeing 787 contract.

Finmeccanica said net debt was 3.373 billion euros at the end of 2012 and forecast a rise in free operating cash flow to around 100 million euros this year from 89 million euros in 2012.

(Reporting By Danilo Masoni and Paolo Biondi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)