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Leonardo new orders surge

Boosted by $4.5B Qatar acquisition of 28 NH90 military helicopters


March 14, 2019
By Jon Robinson

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To be delivered from 2022 to 2025, Qatar’s NH90 aircraft will be powered by Safran RTM322 engines, which comprise approximately 80 per cent of the worldwide NH90 fleet. (Photo: Leonardo)

Leonardo released its 2018 financial statements (ended 31 December, 2018), reporting new order intake at €15.3 billion ($23.1 billion) up 32 per cent at constant currency when compared to 2017. The company holds what it describes as a record backlog at €36.1 billion ($54.4 billion), which amounts to approximately three years in terms of equivalent production.

Leonardo – with developments in helicopters, aircraft, aerostructures, electronics, cyber security and space – states it is among the Top 10 world leaders in aerospace, defence and security, as well as Italy’s main industrial company.

“We have met targets and exceeded guidance,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO, Leonardo. “We continue to be confident in being able to achieve all Industrial Plan targets: top line growth with strict cost control, driving Group towards double-digit profitability and strong cash generation from 2020.”

New orders in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone amounted to €5.7 billion ($8.6 billion), an increase of 7.1 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. The €15.1 billion generated by new orders in 2018 – relative to €11.595 million in 2017 – is largely the result of Qatar’s acquisition of NH90 military helicopters, which Leonardo pegs at €3 billion ($4.5 billion).

Qatar’s order for 28 NH90 aircraft, with Leonardo serving as primary contractor, was announced in March, 2018. Delivery of the helicopters are scheduled to take place from 2022 to 2025. They are to be powered by Safran RTM322 engines, which are used in approximately 80 per cent of the worldwide NH90 fleet (March 2018).

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018 amounted to €4.0 billion ($6.0 billion), an increase of 8.5 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. For all over 2018, revenues amounted to €12.2 billion ($18.4 billion, an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to 2017 at €11.7 billion ($17.6 billion).

Leonardo states its revenue growth – “even more significant excluding the adverse USD/EUR exchange rate effect” – was driven by the Electronics, Defence & Security Systems and Helicopters divisions.

This included higher production volumes and deliveries made by the Helicopters Division, mainly on the AW 139 and AW 101 programs. Total Leonardo helicopter deliveries in 2018 amounted to 177, up from 149 units in 2017. The year 2018 also saw the entry into service and first deliveries of the light twin AW109 Trekker configuration.

RELATED: AW109 Trekker FAA certification (March 14, 2019)

Leonardo also points to the health of its intermediate segment of civil/dual-use helicopters, as well as the light intermediate and Medium segments holding its family of civil platforms – AW169, AW139 and AW189.


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