If any industry is a barometer of global economic health it is the aircraft and airlines businesses, and Airbus has just released figures suggesting the sky’s the limit.
Although its military arm is flagging, with 6400 jobs in Germany at risk and continuing problems with its A400 military transport leading to Airbus looking for a buyer, commercial planes are doing very well.
However with the A380 it has a trump card, the world’s largest passenger plane which is interesting more and more clients.
With its 2014 annual report, the company has broken several records.
Jon Davies, euronews:
“Joining me now from Munich is the Airbus CEO Tom Enders. Mr. Enders, earnings are up 60%, are you 100% happy with the report?”
“I’m 100% happy, it was a pretty good year in 2014, we met most of our operational targets, the commercial momentum was very strong, we achieved major milestones and I think that reflects pretty well in the ebit, in the free cash flow which is very important for us, and certainly in the earnings.”
“It is a huge jump by anyone’s measurement. Where did it come from?”
“Well, as I say it’s a combination. I mean we have improved our operational performance particularly in the area of commercial aircraft. We had a very good order intake, almost a record year, the second-best ever, more than 1400 large commercial aircraft. From that comes a lot of pre-delivery payments. That explains the cashflow improvement; As I said, a pretty good year.”
“And what is the focus now for Airbus, is it on the big super-jumbos, the A380, the new A350, or is on the smaller planes?”
“Well, I’m glad you mention the A380s because 2015 is a very important year because this is the year we break even, after 15 years of heavy investment in that plane. That’s a major milestone, a success, our teams have worked very hard to get to that day, but apart from the 380 the focus is really on the ramp-up of the new long-range aircraft, the 350 this year and the transition from the old 320 to the new 320 that is really our bread-and-butter business, so we’ll have our hands full.”
“Tom Enders in Munich, thank you very much indeed.”
“Thanks for your interest.”