Even though Lockheed Martin’s sales dropped in 2013, the Bethesda-based contracting giant said Thursday that it was able to boost profit.

Revenue declined about 3.9 percent, to $45.4 billion, but profit grew 8.6 percent, reaching nearly $3 billion, or $9.13 a share. That was up from $2.7 billion, or $8.36 a share, in 2012.

Lockheed has been rapidly cutting costs to adapt to tightened government spending. The company on Thursday said that it recognized $171 million in severance charges in connection with recent job reductions, announced in November, to consolidate facilities and trim its workforce.

The company also paid $30 million in severance to cut employees in its information systems and global solutions unit in 2013.

“We continue to have a mindset toward sizing the business, getting our cost structure in line with the environment that we see in front of us,” Bruce L. Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, said in a call with reporters Thursday. “That is surely contributing to our ability to maintain our profitability.”

Sales dropped in all of the company’s units except its missiles and fire control business, which saw a small boost. The company attributed the growth to higher sales of its air and missile defense systems.

Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chief executive, said that the company is “constantly” weighing its costs but that she feels good about how Lockheed fared in the newly approved budget.

Tanner said Lockheed is hopeful that 2014 will represent the low point for federal spending. For the last three months of the year, Lockheed said sales fell 4.7 percent, to $11.5 billion, from the same period a year ago. Net income in the quarter totaled $488 million, or $1.50 a share, down 14 percent.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community.