Liege arms manufacturer Herstal becomes FN Browning Group, rakes in record profits

Liege-based arms manufacturer Herstal, known for brands such as FN, Browning and Winchester, made a record profit of 75 million euros last year. The group, which will henceforth go through life as FN Browning Group, announced this on Friday.

After it was revealed last year that an employee had embezzled 15 million euros from the company for ten years, FN Herstal now seems to be reviving again. The new CEO, Julien Compère, is trying to guide the arms manufacturer, wholly owned by the Walloon government, past its scandals and wants to focus on the future again. At a press conference, therefore, the company announced that, on the occasion of the 135th anniversary of the group and in a bid to have a more international focus, it will henceforth use a new website, logo and name: FN Browning Group.

But the good news was yet to come. The company posted a turnover of 908 million euros last year, 5 per cent less than in the record year 2022. The operating profit, however, reached a record high of 90 million euros, which is 10 per cent higher than in 2022. FN Browning Group will therefore be paying its sole shareholder, the Walloon government, a dividend of 15 million euros, which is half more than in 2022.

The good results are largely thanks to the defence and security division, which manufactures firearms and ammunition and conducts research into new technology applications, such as unmanned ground vehicles with remotely controlled weapon systems. In particular, the paradigm shift among many EU and NATO member states, whereby governments are once again placing more importance on their military and looking to replenish their arms and ammunition stocks, is said to have led to more orders. 

The arms manufacturer, headquartered in Herstal (in the province of Liège), says it employs more than 3,000 people through subsidiaries in Belgium, the US, Portugal, the UK and Finland. It is also a shareholder of the Japanese company Miroku. With the name change, the company aims to highlight its leading brands, notably FN and Browning. After all, these have established excellent global reputations.


A visitor looks at the Belgium weapon manufacturer FN Herstal booth at the Eurosatory international land and airland defence and security trade fair © Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels