Records tumble and a sacred ball. These are, in essence, the great lessons of the 2014 results presented Friday, February 27 Airbus Group. The records? A turnover of € 60.7 billion, up 5%, operating income of 4 billion (+ 54%) and an astronomical backlog of 857.5 billion euros. “A pretty good year for Airbus Group” summed executive chairman Tom Enders in an understatement of which he has the secret. The ball? The military transport aircraft A400M, including technical problems and delivery delays still pushed Airbus to make a provision of 551 million euros, which is in addition to 4.2 billion already spent in the accounts in the year 2008 -2010.
How can this still exceptional year despite the A400M supported? The Airbus commercial board obviously explains much good numbers. The Airbus deliveries record 629 aircraft delivered in 2014, has contributed to this strong performance. The manufacturer has also managed to improve its operating margin dramatically (+ 68%), when that of Airbus Helicopters gained 4%. Both divisions have now reached a margin of 6.3%, more in line with the ambitions of the group that the figure of 2-3% which Airbus maxing recent years. Only the Airbus Division Defence & amp; Space saw its profitability fall by 38%, despite the excellent commercial results of space activities.
A perfectly manageable provision
In this context, the provision on the A400M, if above the consensus (200 to 551 million against 300 million expected), remains perfectly manageable. Especially Airbus could count on 383 million euros of capital gains from the partial sale of its 46% stake in Dassault Aviation. But new troubles of military transport aircraft, the biggest European military program remain no less a major problem: the agreement between the client states and Airbus in 2010 on 5.2 billion euros program was supposed incremental settle the problem. The program was again badly wrong with a situation deemed critical enough that the boss military aircraft Airbus Domingo Ureña-Raso was replaced in late January, following the wrath of the German defense minister on faults and delays on the A400M.
Tom Enders now hopes to double deliveries of the aircraft in 2015 compared to last year, a target of 16 aircraft delivered this year. Not win: Airbus will both manage the problems encountered in its chain of suppliers, and complete the development of new capacity expected forward by European armies (cargo dropping, parachuting, flight refueling). The appliance should however never reach refuel helicopters, capacity specified in the contract, due to turbulence problems due to contra-rotating propellers.
1456 orders 2014
The woes of the A400M fortunately not threaten the future growth of the group, largely driven by the commercial segment. Worn by 1456 orders collected in 2014, the order book of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus reached over € 800 billion alone, or 6386 devices to deliver the equivalent of more than 10 years of production. The challenge for Airbus is now juggling his monumental backlog. After carefully checking the capacity of its chain of suppliers to bear the shock, the group has confirmed the long-awaited increase the production rate of the A320 single-aisle family, which will increase to 50 per month in the first quarter 2017, against 42 Today, an unprecedented level.
The year 2015 promises to be as busy as crucial. The main priority will be the “ramp-up”, that is to say, the increase in production rates for both A320 and the new long-haul A350, as well as the recovery of the A400M program. 2015 will also see, provides Airbus A380 passing stalled: plain, Airbus will finally start making money on every super-jumbo sold, ten years after its first flight and almost eight years after its entry Service. Same large side helicopters deadlines: Helicopters Airbus will present on March 3 at Heli-Expo in Orlando using its new X4 helicopter, the successor of the Dauphin, who must regain lost ground by the bestselling AgustaWestland AW139 in Italian. As for the Defence & amp division; Space, it will both confirm the good results in 2014 of space activities, and to carry out the restructuring of defense activities.