Airbus operating profit falls as COVID-19 cuts orders

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Use this oneEuropean planemaker Airbus said Thursday (18 February) that it posted a full-year operating loss of 510 million euros while its adjusted operating profit fell 75 percent to 1.7 billion euros as plunging demand for air travel drove revenues down 29 percent to 49.9 billion euros. The company, which has overtaken US rival Boeing to become the world’s largest jetmaker following a 20-month safety grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, predicted flat 2021 deliveries and a core operating profit of 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. (PHOTO: Airbus)

“The 2020 results demonstrate the resilience of Airbus in the most challenging crisis to hit the aerospace industry,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “I want to thank our teams for their great achievements in 2020 and acknowledge the strong support of our Helicopters and Defence and Space businesses. I would also like to thank our customers, suppliers and partners for their loyalty to Airbus. Many uncertainties remain for our industry in 2021 as the pandemic continues to impact lives, economies and societies. We have issued guidance to provide some visibility in a volatile environment. Over the longer term, our ambition is to lead the development of a sustainable global aerospace industry.”

Airbus said in its earnings release that net commercial aircraft orders totalled 268 compared to 768 aircraft in 2019 with the order backlog comprising 7,184 commercial aircraft as of 31 December 2020. Airbus Helicopters booked 268 net orders compared to 310 in 2019, including 31 NH90s for the German Bundeswehr in Q4 and 11 H160s. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value increased 39 percent year-on-year to 11.9 billion euros, a book-to-bill above one, mainly driven by major contract wins in Military Aircraft. This included a contract signed in November to deliver 38 new Eurofighters for the German Air Force.

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