Eurocopter Held Its Own in 2009
Eurocopter received net orders for 344 helicopters last year, down from an expected 450 one year ago, but kept deliveries at a high level, the company said yesterday during a press conference in Paris. The France-based manufacturer inked contracts for 449 helicopters but received cancellations for 105. According to Eurocopter, the market segments that have suffered the most are the corporate and charter operators, but in North America the economic downturn affected all market segments. In value, the order intake was still high, at €5.8 billion ($8.1 billion), thanks to a strong military sector and numerous sales of medium (as opposed to light) civil helicopters. In total, the company delivered 558 aircraft last year. Eurocopter’s total revenues amounted to a record €4.6 billion ($6.4 billion). Despite the not-so-gloomy picture in the current market conditions, Eurocopter officials fear a “delayed impact” of the crisis might lie ahead. CEO Lutz Bertling promised that the new “Shape” cost-cutting program will not affect customer support. In fact, the company asserts that its U.S. customers are enjoying improved parts availability.