Airbus adjusted its trajectory and revised its delivery forecasts downward

[Article mis à jour le 27/07/2022 à 21:00, avec les déclarations de Guillaume Faury et les résultats semestriels]

The revision is small but significant at a time when Airbus has made ramp-up a priority objective. The European manufacturer recently lowered its delivery forecast for the year, on the occasion of the publication of half-year results, on July 27. While it had targeted 720 aircraft until then, it lowered the target to 700. The impact will also be felt next year, with an adjustment in its ramp-up trajectory for the A320 NEO family. However, the goal of reaching 75 copies per month by 2025, has not changed.

The news has been out for a while. Despite an acceleration in June with a resulting figure of 58 deliveries, including 53 single-aisle, Airbus failed to reach the level of 2021 with 77 aircraft. And it has already fallen in previous months with less than 50 planes in April as in May. In fact, it only delivered 295 aircraft by the end of June 2022, compared to 297 last year. Throughout the year, Airbus should perform better than last year, when it delivered 611 aircraft.

However, the manufacturer has taken part in a big improvement since last year. Starting with 40 A320 NEO family aircraft per month, a consequence of the sudden reduction in production in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, it reached a rate of 45 at the end of 2021. month during the year, and will finally return to pre-crisis levels in summer 2023, with 65 monthly devices.

Aeronautics: despite the reduction in deliveries, Airbus did not panic and stayed the course

65 devices per month by 2024

With the change made by Airbus, this goal is expected only at the beginning of 2024. The six-month delay, therefore, that Guillaume Faury, Executive Chairman of Airbus, indicates “continuing troubles” that -in line with global supply. chain since the health crisis.

“We have updated our commercial aircraft delivery target for 2022 to reflect the current challenges we see in the supply chain,” he said. And while he noted some progress, he added that with “the ongoing war in Ukraine and associated international sanctions, we continue to operate in a time of uncertainty and volatility.”

The ramp-up of the A320 NEO family remains a “top priority” despite a complex and difficult environment. “Our Airbus team is fully engaged with our suppliers and our partners and, if necessary, we will continue to adapt and change our supply chains according to the evolution of the situation”, warned the leader. Nevertheless he believes that he has removed the risks as much as possible with the new ramp-up plan, according to his suppliers “in particular but not only the engine manufacturers”. There have been many discussions in recent weeks, including in Farnborough.

“We think our plan is solid. The environment is difficult and the use of a conventional crystal ball is quite complicated. It doesn’t seem to work anymore either. All joking aside, we believe this shows what we can do based on our current understanding of this environment: the state of the industry, the state of global logistics and the labor market, the ability of each supplier , especially the most critical, to ramp up. up…”, Guillaume Faury, Executive Chairman of Airbus.

And Guillaume Faury confirmed that the goal of producing 75 devices per month by 2025 is still in place. This represents an unprecedented acceleration for the aeronautical industry. If achieved, Airbus will deliver 900 A320 NEO Family aircraft annually, not counting long-haul aircraft and the A220 Family. But there too, the supply chain must be able to follow the ambitions of the manufacturer, some equipment manufacturers such as engine manufacturer Safran expressing reservations on this subject.

Airbus wants to break all records and deliver around 1,000 planes per year by 2025

Impact on results

Despite the downward change in deliveries, Guillaume Faury maintained its financial goals with adjusted operating income of 5.5 billion euros and free cash flow of 3.5 billion euros, in merger and acquisition and customer financing are not yet available.

But this difficulty in keeping pace is felt in the results. The half-year income increased by 1% compared to 2019, to 24.8 billion euros, but this was only due to the good performance of the defense activities (+ 26%) of Airbus Defense & Space and Airbus Helicopters. Alone, revenues from commercial aircraft fell by even 2%, to 17.5 billion euros.

Operating profit also decreased, with revenue 5% lower than last year, at 2.6 billion euros. But in the current case, it is due to the loss of profit in the Defense & Space division, which was affected by the delays of Ariane 6. But it increased its turnover, thanks to other things in the military activity of the plane and the signature of The Eurodrone contract was in February. The group’s net income fell by 15% to 1.9 billion euros.

The good news comes from the orders. With 259 net, despite 147 cancellations, Airbus made a big leap and increased its balance by 7 compared to the first half of 2021. And again, this does not include the sale of 292 A320 NEO to four Chinese companies, announced in early July and pending finalization, or the (more moderate) contracts signed at the Farnborough show last week.

Airbus Defense & Space also made a jump in this area with 6.5 billion euros in order intake (+ 86%), while Airbus Helicopters grew more moderately with 163 net orders (+ 33%).