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A400M, A380 drag EADS to loss

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 15, 2010
A380 production problems have again affected EADS's profitability. (Airbus)
A380 production problems have again affected EADS's profitability. (Airbus)

EADS has recorded a net loss of €763m (A$1.15bn) for the 2009 financial year as the European aerospace and defence conglomerate was again dragged down by the A400M and A380 programs, as well as currency losses.

The company’s revenues declined by €500m (A$751m) to €42.8bn (A$64.3bn), which was buoyed by higher aircraft deliveries from Airbus and a 12 per cent increase in revenue from Astrium, but dragged down by lower revenue recognition in the A400M program, price deterioration on commercial aircraft deliveries and negative foreign exchange impacts. The company also noted that the A380 “continued to weigh significantly on the underlying performance”. This led to a €1.1bn (A$1.65bn) decline in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) before one-off items to €2.2bn (A$3.3bn).

“In 2009, the commercial business environment was difficult – but we anticipated many of the challenges ahead of us and overcame them. This illustrates the strength EADS has developed over its first 10 years,” said EADS CEO Louis Gallois.

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Looking ahead, the company expects revenues and EBIT this year to come in at the same level as the year prior, with Airbus expected to deliver a similar number of aircraft while Eurocopter will deliver six per cent fewer helicopters over the year.

Despite the large financial costs taken by the company, Gallois welcomed the recent announcement of a settlement with customer nations on the A400M airlifter program. “Thanks to the agreement between the customer nations and EADS this program is now back on track,” he said. “Although the group has to take an additional significant provision, this stabilises the program. Apart from the A400M, we remain fully focused on improved program management including further ramp-up of the A380, the development of the A350 and the Saudi Border Surveillance program.”

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