Airbus has reaffirmed its commercial aircraft delivery targets for calendar 2019 amid what chief executive Guillaume Faury describes as a robust market.
The company said in its financial results for the three months to March 31 2019 it expected to deliver between 880 and 890 commercial aircraft in the current year.
The guidance was unchanged from what Airbus detailed in its recently published annual report and at its calendar 2018 full year results published in February.
Faury, presenting his first set of financial results since taking over from Tom Enders earlier in April, said the management team was focused on delivering on its commitments.
“The first quarter underlying financials mainly reflect our commercial aircraft ramp-up and delivery phasing,” Faury said in a statement accompanying the first quarter results.
“The commercial aircraft market remains robust and we continue to see good prospects in the helicopters and defence and space businesses.”
Airbus has said previously its priorities for the current year included the ramp up the A320 program, as well as margin improvement on the A350 widebody. Airbus was also focused on leveraging its military portfolio and on its services, digital and innovation initiatives.
The production rate of the A320 program was due to increase to 60 aircraft a month by mid-2019 and rise to 63 aircraft a month by 2021. This compared with about 55 A320 aircraft rolling off the program’s four production lines in Hamburg (Germany), Mobile (United States), Tianjin (China) and Toulouse (France) each month currently.
In terms of the financial results, Airbus reported net income, or net profit, of EUR40 million for the three months to March 31 2019, down 86 per cent from EUR283 million in the prior corresponding period.
A number of one-off costs impacted the bottom line in the first quarter.
These included EUR190 million from an ongoing German ban of defence exports to Saudi Arabia, EUR83 million due to a balance sheet reevaluation and some payment mismatches, as well as EUR61 million from the decision to shut down the A380 production line in 2021.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell nine per cent to EUR181 million.
And revenues rose 24 per cent to EUR12.5 billion.
The Airbus commercial aircraft business, which is the biggest of the three business units alongside Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space, reported EBIT of EUR536 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of EUR41 million in the prior corresponding period.
The lift in EBIT was attributed to higher deliveries of the A320neo family of aircraft in the current quarter compared with the prior corresponding period, when engine production issues caused deliveries to be held up.
First quarter delivery numbers reflected the improved situation around the A320 family of aircraft.
Airbus said it delivered 162 commercial aircraft during the three months to March 31 2019, up from 121 aircraft in the prior corresponding period.
There were 126 A320 family aircraft deliveries in the first quarter of calendar 2019, compared with 95 deliveries a year ago.
VIDEO: A look at the A320neo, A330, A350 and A380 flying in formation from the Airbus YouTube channel.