Airbus Projects Orders To Exceed Deliveries

 - March 9, 2011, 6:02 AM

Airbus plans to deliver between 520 to 530 commercial aircraft this year and the company projects its gross orders to exceed deliveries, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of greater than one. The projection came as EADS released its year-end financial figures for 2010 today in Munich, where the European consortium noted that last year’s order intake increased 81 percent, to €83.1 billion ($115.8 billion), driven largely by Airbus Commercial. All told, revenues increased 7 percent, to €45.8 billion ($63.8 billion), on record deliveries of 510 commercial aircraft. Net income rose to €553 million ($770.8 million) and the company finished the year with a record net cash position of €11.9 billion ($16.6 billion).

EADS expects 2011 revenues to exceed those of last year, while it expects EBIT before one-off to remain stable compared with the 2010 level, at around €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion).   

EADS’s reported EBIT and EPS performance will depend on the group’s ability to execute on the A400M, A380 and A350 XWB programs, said the company, in line with the commitments to its customers.

Airbus made what EADS described as “good progress” last year on its top risk program–the A350 XWB, with the beginning of manufacturing for sub components and sub assemblies at so-called section level; however, said the company, the time schedule remains challenging. It has scheduled entry-into-service for the second half of 2013.

As expected, the A380 program “is stabilizing,” said the company, and Airbus continues to make “significant progress on the learning curve,” leading to an improvement of the gross margin per aircraft.

Meanwhile, the A400M program continues to deliver results, said the company, with four development aircraft flying. The A400M maturity gate milestone passed in February 2011 clears the way for the start of series production. The company expects civil certification this year.

As of December 31, 2010, Airbus’ consolidated order book totaled €400.4 billion ($613 billion), compared with a year-end 2009 total of €339.7 billion ($473.5 billion). The Airbus Commercial backlog, which benefited from a positive re-valuation of around €25 billion ($34.8 billion) due to the strengthening value of the U.S. dollar against the euro, accounted for €378.9 billion ($528.1 billion), compared with €320.3 billion ($443.4) at the end of 2009. The Airbus Commercial backlog at the end of last year stood at 3,552 units, compared with 3,488 aircraft at the end of 2009.