ENP Newswire - 31 July 2014
Release date- 30072014 - Airbus Group (stock exchange symbol: AIR) reported solid results for the first half of 2014, reflecting operational improvement and the continued focus on programme execution.
Demand for the Group's products remains strong as shown at July's Farnborough Air Show, where Airbus announced 496 aircraft orders and commitments confirming the health of the commercial aircraft market. The A330neo was endorsed by the market with 121 commitments announced at the show. Group order intake(2) in the first half was EUR 27.7 billion (H1 2013: EUR 95.6 billion(1)), with the order book(2) worth EUR 677.4 billion on 30 June, 2014 (year-end 2013: EUR 680.6 billion(1)). Airbus received 290 net commercial aircraft orders (H1 2013: 722 net orders(1)). Net order intake at Airbus Helicopters was 148 units (H1 2013: 167 units) while in July agreements were signed to supply 123 rotorcraft to China. Airbus Defence and Space's order intake by value was stable, with continued momentum in space activities and 17 light and medium transport aircraft orders received.
'The first half of 2014 was all about keeping our main development and series programmes on track and implementing our restructuring plans in defence and space,' said Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders. 'This is shown in the solid improvement in revenues and profitability. We saw good commercial order momentum at Farnborough and have shown our commitment to ensure the Group's long-term competitiveness through the A330neo launch and the joint venture in space launchers.'
Group revenues increased six percent to EUR 27.2 billion (H1 2013: EUR 25.7 billion(1)), driven by Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Airbus Helicopters with flat revenues at Airbus Defence and Space. Airbus' revenues rose seven percent, reflecting the increase in deliveries to 303 aircraft (H1 2013: 295 deliveries(1)) and a more favourable mix, including five additional A380s compared to a year earlier. Airbus Helicopters' revenues rose eight percent as deliveries increased to 200 units (H1 2013: 190 units) including the NH90 ramp up. At Airbus Defence and Space, satellite launches in the second quarter included the Earth observation satellite Spot 7.
Group EBIT* before one-off - an indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material non-recurring charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes and restructurings or foreign exchange impacts - improved to EUR 1,769 million (H1 2013: EUR 1,614 million(1)). It included a capital gain of EUR 60 million from the sale of the Paris Headquarters building. EBIT* before one-off for Airbus rose to EUR 1,287 million (H1 2013: EUR 1,231 million(1)), reflecting operational improvement but was weighed down by A350 XWB support costs and a more front-loaded research and development (R&D) expense profile compared to 2013. EBIT* before one-off at Airbus Helicopters rose to EUR 150 million (H1 2013: EUR 128 million), reflecting the Super Puma recovery and services activities. Airbus Defence and Space's EBIT* before one-off was stable at EUR 223 million (H1 2013: EUR 216 million(1)). The Group EBIT* before one-off return on sales was 6.5 percent (H1 2013: 6.3 percent).
The A350 XWB programme is on track for certification in the third quarter of 2014 and entry-into-service by year-end. All five development aircraft are now flying with more than 2,250 flight test hours accumulated. The first A320neo is being prepared for the first flight in September with the programme on track for entry-into-service in the fourth quarter of 2015. Entry-into-service for the A330neo is scheduled for the final quarter of 2017. At Airbus Helicopters, the EC175 programme is progressing towards entry-into-service in the fourth quarter of 2014. Airbus Defence and Space's restructuring plan is progressing and on track. After the delivery of Turkey's first aircraft in April and France's third in late July, the A400M programme enters in progressive enhancement with military capability with some delays incurred. The sequence of progressive enhancements is under final negotiation with customers. Risks related to the cost envelope and military functionality are being closely monitored.
Airbus Group and Safran agreed in June to create a 50:50 joint venture to improve competitiveness in the space launcher segment. As part of a portfolio review, Airbus Group continues to pursue disposal options for its investment in Dassault Aviation.
Reported EBIT*(3) increased 24 percent to EUR 1,839 million (H1 2013: EUR 1,478 million(1)) and included a EUR 70 million positive contribution from the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation. The finance result was EUR -252 million (H1 2013: EUR -417 million(1)) while net income(4) increased to EUR 1,135 million (H1 2013: EUR 758 million(1)), or earnings per share (EPS) of EUR 1.45 (EPS H1 2013: EUR 0.94(1)). Net income and EPS also reflected favourable foreign exchange effects. Group self-financed R&D expenses increased to EUR 1,564 million (H1 2013: EUR 1,399 million(1)). Free cash flow before acquisitions improved significantly to EUR -2,270 million (H1 2013: EUR -4,060 million(1)), reflecting tight cash control and investment in production and development programmes. The net cash position on June 30, 2014 was EUR 5.4 billion (year-end 2013: EUR 8.5 billion(1)) after the 2013 dividend payment of EUR 587 million and EUR 336 million pension plan contribution. The gross cash position was EUR 13.5 billion.
As the basis for its 2014 guidance, Airbus Group expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts and assumes no major disruptions. In 2014, Airbus deliveries should be about the same level as in 2013, including the first A350 XWB delivery. Net commercial aircraft orders should be above the level of deliveries. Assuming an exchange rate of EUR 1 = $ 1.35, Airbus Group revenues should be stable compared to 2013(5). Using EBIT* before one-off, Airbus Group expects moderate return on sales growth in 2014(5).
The 2015 return on sales target of 7-8 percent(6) is unchanged pre A330neo development, which is assessed to have a net impact of around -70 basis points. The EBIT* and EPS* performance of Airbus Group will depend on the Group's ability to limit 'one-off' charges. Going forward, from today's point of view, the one-offs should be limited to potential charges on the A350 XWB programme and foreign exchange effects linked to the pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation. The A350 XWB programme remains challenging. Any change to the schedule and cost assumptions could lead to an increasingly higher impact on provisions.
Airbus Group is targeting breakeven free cash flow before acquisitions in 2014.
Airbus Group uses EBIT pre-goodwill impairment and exceptionals as a key indicator of its economic performance. The term 'exceptionals' refers to such items as depreciation expenses of fair value adjustments relating to the EADS merger, the Airbus Combination and the formation of MBDA, as well as impairment charges thereon.