French defence group Thales to recruit 12,000 staff as orders boom

The logo of French defence and electronics group Thales is seen in La Defense business district near ParisThe logo of French defence and electronics group Thales is seen at an office building at the financial and business district of La Defense in Courbevoie near Paris, France, January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – French defence and technology group Thales (TCFP.PA) plans to hire 12,000 new staff this year as there is strong demand across its product range, CEO Patrice Caine said in an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.

He said that over the past eight years Thales, which has total staff of 80,000 of which 40,000 in France, had recruited 5,000 to 8,000 people per year and that last year already it had hired 11,500 new staff.

Caine said that all the firm's activities – defence and security, aeronautics and space, identity and digital security, were growing strongly.

"The company is a reflection of its markets, which are all seeing dynamic growth, with needs growing in all our fields of activity," he said.

Caine, who recently met with Ukraine's defence minister, said that France would deliver its Ground Master 200 radar air defence system to Ukraine in May.

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Since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 2022, shares of Thales (TCFP.PA) – Europe's largest arms electronics provider – have risen nearly 60% to new all-time highs, outperforming the Refinitiv Europe Aerospace & Defense index (.TRXFLDEUPUI11).

President Emmanuel Macron said in January that French military spending would increase by more than a third in coming years, with the 2024-2030 military budget set to rise to 413 billion euros ($447 billion), up from 295 billion euros in the 2019-2025 period as the army adapts to a new security environment following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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