Italian aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica on Tuesday posted a 2.3 billion euro ($3.1 billion) net loss for 2011 saying it had been an "extraordinarily difficult year".
The group's chief executive Giuseppe Orsi said the loss was "a necessary preamble to allow Finmeccanica to take a new course."
The company said in a statement the loss was due to "exceptional events" and "non-recurring charges."
Finemccanica, which is majority controlled by the Italian state, had registered a net profit of 557 million euros in 2010.
"We carried out a comprehensive but necessary review of the group's industrial strategy and business and technological approach. Inevitably the balance sheet we are presenting today reflects this," Orsi said.
"2012 will be characterised by an improvement in our key balance sheet indicators and will be a year of calibrated transition towards a new Finmeccanica," he added.
The company said it had been hit by defence budget cuts and difficulties in its transport and aerospace divisions.
Its revenues dropped 7.0 percent last year to 17.32 billion euros.
Orsi took over last year after the resignation of Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, who was brought down by a corruption scandal.
Orsi's plan is for the company to concentrate on activities in which it can be a global leader and sell off assets worth around one billion euros by the end of 2012, particularly in the transport sector.
Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore said that Japanese industrial group Hitachi was interested in buying AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS, two of Finmeccanica's rail transport companies.
The report pushed Finemaccanica's share price up 10.88 percent on Tuesday.
Finmeccanica said earlier it would not be paying out dividends for 2011.