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August 26, 2022updated 25 Aug 2022 12:37pm

Filings buzz in the aerospace and defence sector: 170% increase in the internet of things mentions in Q2 of 2022

We've analysed companies' annual reports and other filings to see which key issues are receiving the most attention.

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of the internet of things within the filings of companies in the aerospace and defence sector rose 170% between the first and second quarters of 2022.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to the internet of things between July 2021 and June 2022 was 26% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the aerospace and defence sector publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. The internet of things is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether the internet of things is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the aerospace and defence sector, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned the internet of things at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 80% compared to 63% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the internet of things.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the aerospace and defence sector, Leonardo was the company which referred to the internet of things the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified 77 internet of things-related sentences in the Italy-based company's filings - 0.9% of all sentences. Elbit Systems mentioned the internet of things the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.5% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high internet of things mentions included Thales, Airbus and Saab.

Across all companies in the aerospace and defence sector the filing published in the second quarter of 2022 which exhibited the greatest focus on the internet of things came from AeroVironment. Of the document's 1,730 sentences, 105 (6.1%) referred to the internet of things.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on the internet of things and how important the issue is considered within the aerospace and defence sector, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning the internet of things more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into the internet of things have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises the internet of things mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2022 was 'drones', which made up 89% of all internet of things subtheme mentions by companies in the aerospace and defence sector.

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