Airbus SE on October 30 reported its nine-month 2019 consolidated financial results and provided full-year guidance, as well as a deliveries update. The company explains its nine-month results, including a year-over-year consolidated revenue increase of 14 per cent to €46.2 billion ($67.7 billion CDN), were driven by the performance in commercial aircraft, reflecting both its A320neo ramp-up and A350 progress.
“We are focused on the A320neo ramp-up and improving the industrial flow while managing the higher level of complexity on the A321 ACF in particular,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus. “Our nine-month delivery numbers and the updated delivery outlook for the year reflect the underlying actions to secure a more efficient delivery flow in the next years as we progress to rate 63 per month for the A320 Family in 2021.
Airbus updated its 2019 year-end guidance for an expected delivery of around 860 commercial aircraft. The company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with what it describes prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions. As a result, Airbus maintains its expected increase in EBIT Adjusted of approximately 15 per cent when compared to 2018.
In its year-end outlook, Airbus notes developments in the WTO dispute in terms of the United States Trade Representative imposing tariffs on Airbus commercial aircraft imported from the EU into the U.S. from October 19, 2019. These tariffs do not include components delivered to its production facility in Mobile, Alabama, from Europe. Airbus states it is working with U.S. customers to manage the consequences of these tariffs and that the potential decision of the EU to impose tariffs on U.S. products should come at a later stage. Airbus also states it supports an outcome through a negotiated solution.
A total of 571 Airbus commercial aircraft were delivered for the first nine months (9m) of 2019 (9m 2018: 503 aircraft), comprising 33 A220s, 422 A320 Family, 34 A330s, 77 A350s and five A380s. Airbus Helicopters delivered 209 units (9m 2018: 218 units), with the company noting this slight decrease in year-over year deliveries is supported by growth in services and reduced by program phasing. Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted was stable at €205 million (9m 2018: €202 million).
Gross commercial aircraft orders for the first nine months of 2019 totalled 303 (9m 2018: 311 aircraft), including 20 A330neos and 22 A350 XWBs in the third quarter alone, with net orders of 127 aircraft (9m 2018: 256 aircraft). The Airbus order book stood at 7,133 commercial aircraft as of September 20, 2019. Net helicopter orders of 173 units (9m 2018: 230 units) included 12 H135s in the third quarter. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value totalled €6.1 billion, explains the company, with third quarter bookings supported by key contract wins in Space Systems.
Consolidated EBIT Adjusted increased to €4,133 million (9m 2018: €2,738 million), which the company again states to mainly reflect its commercial aircraft performance. Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted increased to €3,833 million (9m 2018: €2,340 million), largely driven by the A320 ramp-up, progress on the A350 financial performance, and foreign exchange improvements.
Looking specifically at the A320 program, NEO aircraft represented 338 out of the total 422 deliveries. The production ramp-up continued for the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) version of the A321, which, according to the company, remains challenging. The ramp-up of the A330neo continued and represented 26 of the total 34 A330 deliveries over the 2019 nine-month period.
Higher revenues at Airbus Defence and Space were mainly driven by Military Aircraft activities. EBIT Adjusted at Airbus Defence and Space totalled €355 million (9m 2018: €409 million). Ten A400M military transport aircraft were delivered in the first nine months of 2019, bringing the in-service fleet to 84 as of September 20, 2019.
During the third quarter, Airbus states several key milestones were achieved towards the A400M’s full capability, including the successful deployment of 58 paratroopers through a single side door and 80 simultaneously from both side doors as well as in-flight refuelling contacts with an H225M helicopter.